KOTA KINABALU (22nd Dec 2010): Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) has slammed the Federal Government for taking action that goes against its own policies and commitments in powering a green economy.
The group said the Government, in particular the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, is confusing the people by stating that a coal-fired power plant will be built in Sabah, despite its own policies and pledges on using renewable energy and cleaner sources to provide electricity.
The latest statement from Green SURF comes in wake of Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin’s reply to Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap at the Dewan Negara sitting on Monday that the coal plant proposed for Sabah will go ahead as it is the best option to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Chin said a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) study will be resubmitted, and that the Federal Government will form closer cooperation with the State Government, relevant agencies, the developer and residents.
Green SURF representative Wong Tack said the Government was not listening to the people of Sabah who have repeatedly rejected the coal plant from the time it was first proposed for Silam in Lahad Datu, and later in Sandakan.
“One minute the Government is promoting green technology, especially when it makes statements at international platforms. The next minute, it is pushing for a coal plant in Sabah, known for its biodiversity.
“How can the Government even say it’s listening to the people? This latest statement by Peter Chin is a total disappointment. The Minister must either be totally deaf or protecting some interests, instead of protecting interests of the people.
“Actions taken by the Government in pushing for this coal plant are totally against their own words and policies, and the arrogant attitude of the Minister (Peter Chin) is not acceptable, and in fact, is hard to swallow,” Wong said in a statement issued today.
On Tuesday, Chin was quoted as saying that the Government needs to play an active role to ensure green technology in Malaysia is able to grow, and that his Ministry was doing everything possible to encourage commercial and industrial enterprises and competition in green technology.
Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak chaired the Green Technology and Climate Change Council meeting in Parliament, and stated on his Facebook page that he had attended the meeting, describing it as “the way forward and we can’t afford to be left behind.”
Meanwhile, Wong said Najib must keep his promise of increasing interactions with the people both online and in person as stated in his latest posting on his 1Malaysia blog.
“Green SURF has tried to meet the Prime Minister on numerous occasions. We even went to Parliament, but failed to see him. When he came to Kota Kinabalu, we were blocked from meeting the Prime Minister.
“If the Prime Minister truly wants to listen to the people, he should allow Green SURF to meet him,” Wong said.
Green SURF was founded over a year ago by five NGOs – Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) of which Wong is president, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), WWF-Malaysia, Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Sabah.
Following fierce objections by Green SURF and other organisations and individuals, the federal Department of Environment rejected the DEIA study for the plant in August.
However, last month, Tenaga Nasional Berhad which is the parent company of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, stated in its annual report that the DEIA would be resubmitted.