Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stop Playing Games on Green Energy, Ministry Told


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.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Chin Has Failed as Minister for Green Technology: Green SURF


KOTA KINABALU (2nd December 2010): The protest for the 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant is based on studies that show Sabah has other options to meet its power shortage problem.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) said the environment, health and food security were other factors in saying no to the proposed project which has been relocated twice following repeated rejections.

Green SURF representative Wong Tack said this in response to Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin’s statement that it was wrong for those opposing the move to “object for the sake of objecting.”

Wong said it was clear that Chin had failed to read various reports including the one prepared by world renowned energy expert, Prof Daniel Kammen which Green SURF had commissioned.

“The study shows the other options that Sabah has including biomass from oil palm waste, and geothermal energy, apart from gas which comes from our shores.

“The study listed cost effectiveness of the options in comparison to coal. It is wrong for Chin to indicate through his statement that renewable energy is only about tapping energy from the sun. We are not only talking about solar energy,” Wong said in a statement issued today.

Wong also questioned Chin for stating that renewable energy was not matured enough at present, and that those objecting should reconsider.

“The Minister (Chin) is not mature enough about renewable energy, and is irresponsible. The issue has been on the table for so long and he is talking as though it’s the first day of the campaign against the project.

“I would like to repeat my past call for him to resign. He is not qualified to be there. He is a “black” minister for supporting coal, not a green minister.

“What is the point of having the words green technology in the Ministry’s portfolio? This is just green washing to show the world Malaysia is going green,” he said.

Wong also said the push by the Ministry for a coal plant was an embarrassment and insult to the Prime Minister who had told the world in Copenhagen last year that Malaysia would cut its carbon emissions by 40 per cent in 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad recently stated in its annual report that Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd will resubmit its Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) study, but failed to report that the Department of Environment (DOE) rejected the study in August.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fossil fuels will remain a long-term option: Peter Chin

Fossil fuels will remain a long-term option: Peter Chin
By Joseph Masilamany

PETALING JAYA (Nov 27, 2010):
The exploration and continued usage of fossil fuels will remain a long-term option in the country, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin told reporters today.

Chin said that the country is not fully ready to embrace the use of renewable energy sources as the technology is expensive and the expertise required to switch to environmental-friendly energy sources is yet to mature during a press conference after launching Man from Borneo, an autobiography authored by La Salle (Brother) Datuk Michael Jaques .

Chin said this when asked to comment on the planned re-submission of a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for a proposed coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

The planned re-submission of the DEIA by the utility company came under fire from environmental group Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future).

The group is shocked that although the Department of Environment had rejected the study in August, TNB had stated in its 2010 Annual Report that a revised report will be re-submitted for review and approval of the project that will generate 300MW of energy.

Green SURF is concerned that the coal-fired plant to be located between the rainforests of Tabin and the Coral Triangle at an eco-sensitive area of the state.

Chin, however, said that country has to rely on traditional sources of fuel as it needs 30,000MW of energy.

“All countries in the world are still largely dependent on fossil fuel, and for us, deriving energy from renewable sources is still an option, unlike France which is supported by 90% nuclear energy,” Chin said.

He also said if the site in Sabah is not suitable, alternate sites can be found.

“We do not just give up,” he said, citing the coal-fired energy plant in Manjung, Perak.

“The people of Manjung, are comfortable, although they are living close to this plant,” he added. -- theSun

Updated: 06:51PM Sat, 27 Nov 2010