Monday, October 10, 2011


10th OCTOBER 2011

We questioned the sincerity of our PM. Only less than a month ago, he said Malaysia should move towards a more open society. Peaceful assembly shall be allowed but that was not reflected in the Himpunan Hijau 109 event in Kuantan. Police and the local town council have taken unnecessary actions to interrupt the event and intimidate the organizer and participants.

Permits from both the police and local council were withdrawn at the eleventh hour. Temporary tents and stage that were already set up by the organizer at the event venue were dismantled in the middle of the night. Uniformed Armed personnels were dispatched on site. Roadblocks were set up and parking areas were sealed. This is blatant abuse of power.The only reason given was instruction from above. We would like to know who is the person above giving such instruction. Is he above the people?

Government controlled medias have distorted and misreported the event with agendas that only they themselves know. We wish to clarify that Himpunan Hijau 109 is a people’s movement and is purely organized by the community group. It is a movement that transcends political boundaries. All political parties including Barisan Nasional component party came and supported the event with only one agenda. They decided to stand on the side of the people. National television news has lied to the people and the whole nation by saying that the event is a failure and that it is organized and backed by the opposition.

The event marked major victory of people’s power and people must know this is not the climax of our struggle. It is only the first wave hitting the shore. We assure you that if nothing change we will bound to see the greatest tsunami.
In reference to the anti Lynas campaign, we want everyone to know that we will walk the streets one way or another. Either to celebrate victory or to express the strongest anger. The people have already decided. Now it’s up to the authorities.

National Steering Committee
Himpunan Hijau 109


*Note : Photos are available for download at Facebook : Pahang Don’t Need “Hazardous” Project


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Green SURF Supporter Conquers Three Oceans In Solo Row

KOTA KINABALU (6th October 2011): British ocean rower Roz Savage who was in Sabah last year to lend her support in halting a coal-fired power plant, a project that has since been scrapped, has become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Savage arrived in Mauritius on Oct 4, five months after setting off from Fremantle in Australia as part of her goal to cross the Indian Ocean, having conquered the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 to 2006, followed by the Pacific Ocean last year.

Named as a United Nations Climate Hero and athlete ambassador for, an international campaign that is building a movement to unite the world on solutions to the climate crisis, Savage uses her ocean voyages to raise awareness and inspire action on environmental issues.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) today congratulated Savage for creating a world record, describing her as a role model for groups and individuals worldwide who are working tirelessly to safeguard the planet from further environmental degradation.

Green SURF spokesperson Cynthia Ong said Savage had heard from of the coalition’s efforts to stop the 300 megawatt coal plant on Sabah’s east coast, while traveling in the region after completing the Pacific Ocean row.

“Her message is simple -- that each of us can make a difference in caring for and respecting the earth. In July last year, she campaigned alongside Green SURF for clean energy for Sabah as an alternative to a proposed coal-fired power plant.

“Savage carried a banner with a message of support for clean energy in Sabah, and took this up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, before diving with the same message in waters off here, and parasailing with the banner in Tanjung Aru,” Ong said in a statement today.

The Government cancelled the proposed coal plant at Kampung Sinakut in Lahad Datu in February this year, following concerns raised by various stakeholders including Green SURF.

Ong said Green SURF was proud of Savage’s “Big Three” feat, in reference to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, and felt honoured that she supported the coalition in asking for clean energy in Sabah.

Savage, who was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010, worked as a management consultant in London before it dawned on her that her materialistic lifestyle was not the path to happiness, and was having an appalling impact on the environment.

During a Press conference in Kota Kinabalu last year, Savage was quoted as saying that the intelligent choice for any modern, forward looking country is clean, renewable energy.

“Every day I ask myself what I can do to make my world a better place. I urge you to do the same. Let’s look after this planet. It’s the only one we’ve got,” Savage was further quoted as saying.

In a blog posting from her Sabah trip, Savage stressed on the need to switch to renewable energies, steering a course that will meet energy needs in future.

After crossing the Indian Ocean, Savage has now rowed over 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles), taken 5 million oar strokes, and spent over 500 days at sea.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Public Invited to Renewable Energy Fun Day


KOTA KINABALU (21 Sept 2011): Sabah will join thousands worldwide in advocating renewable energy through a local fun-filled event at the First Beach Café in Tanjung Aru this Saturday.

The local programme is among hundreds of Moving Planet events that will be carried out on Sept 24 in over 150 countries to mark a day for the global community to move beyond fossil fuels and to renewable energy.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) is inviting the public to support the half day event that starts at 9am, and to use the opportunity to learn about renewable energy and to participate in drawing posters with messages that reflect our dependence on fossil fuels is damaging the environment.

The coalition of non-governmental organisations will compile the posters, and plans to display them at another event next year.

Green SURF spokesperson Cynthia Ong said it is important for the public to directly participate in sending a strong message on why there is an urgent need for more renewable energy projects to take off in Malaysia, and the world.

“We encourage the public in Sabah to engage in the renewable energy and fossil fuel conversation because it is of local and global relevance, especially at this time.

“Come to this event and draw your messages. Bring your children, bring your ideas, bring your own materials if you can, and be part of this exciting movement.

“The Government has initiated policies that push for renewable energy, and is taking positive steps and we are supporting this by initiating and mobilising a wider participation from civil society,” Ong said in a statement.

The event that ends at 1pm will also feature a solar hybrid demonstration model created by renewable energy solutions provider Adrian Lasimbang of Era Wira Sdn Bhd, a beach clean-up and a Zumba dance performance led by fitness instructor Michelle Koh.

Green SURF registered its Say YES To Renewable Energy event with, an international grassroots campaign aimed at mobilising people to bring carbon dioxide emissions back down to and below the scientifically-determined safe level of 350 parts per million (ppm), from the current 391ppm level.

Ong said Green SURF’s effort to take part in the global event is in line with the coalition’s plans to facilitate renewable energy projects in Sabah, and nationwide.

“With our wide network, we are in the position to become a movement that offers solutions. We are already spearheading exciting renewable energy projects including a Southeast Asia Clean Energy Summit in 2012,” she said.

To learn more about the event, visit the “Say YES to Renewable Energy!” page on Facebook, or email the organisers at To read about’s Moving Planet, visit


Sunday, July 24, 2011



KOTA KINABALU (24th July 2011): Renewable energy must be given a shot in the arm following the new pricing for electricity that kicked in for Sabah and Labuan on July 15, Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) said today.

The recommendation comes in wake of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd’s (SESB) new pricing structure that promotes efficient use of power, lessening the Government’s burden in providing subsidies for ever increasing fuel costs and addressing the depletion of fossil fuel resources.

Green SURF’s call is in line with the viability of renewable energy options that the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at the University of California in Berkeley prepared last year. The coalition of non-governmental organisations had commissioned the RAEL report at the height of its opposition towards a proposed coal-fired power plant for the state.

Coalition spokesperson Cynthia Ong said the report advocates the phasing out of costly fossil-fuel subsidies which distort energy markets and provide them an unfair advantage over unsubsidized renewable energy resources.

“According to the report which we made public and even sent to Parliament, restructuring incentives for generation of power from fossil-fuels including oil and gas, will make renewable energy options more cost competitive and stimulate increased clean energy development.

“It is clear from SESB’s own statement that the tariff restructuring carried out by them was linked to Government subsidies for rising fuel costs.

“Sabah is in the position to push renewable energy forward given our global standing as one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, but we need support from the Federal Government which is in control of energy matters. We are willing to work with the Government and SESB on this,” she said in a statement.

Green SURF decided to share its views on the recent power tariff hike, the first by SESB in 25 years, following queries from the public on what the coalition thought of the issue.

The coalition also received feedback from the author of the RAEL report, Professor Dan Kammen who is now at the World Bank as its Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, over SESB’s decision to introduce a new tariff.

Kammen said a recent systematic study of fossil fuel subsidies showed that it primarily benefitted the more affluent energy consumers.

He said the joint World Bank and International Energy Agency report concluded that “phasing out fossil fuel subsidies represents a triple-win solution” and that it would enhance energy security, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and bring immediate economic gains.

Meanwhile, to strengthen its case, Green SURF also made reference to the REN21 publication “Renewables 2011: Global Status Report” released this month which stated that at the end of last year, renewables delivered close to a fifth of the world’s power supply.


Friday, February 18, 2011

World Kudos for Malaysia in Keeping Sabah Coal Free


KOTA KINABALU (18th Feb 2011): Malaysia has received a pat on the back from the international community for its decision to call off using coal for energy in Sabah, a move that will open doors to clean power options in the state.

Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the World Bank, Professor Daniel M. Kammen said by cancelling a proposed coal plant in favour of sustainable energy options, Malaysia has opted to invest in a healthy economy and environment for the state of Sabah.

“This is a turning point that should bring deserved praise and partnerships to Malaysia at the upcoming climate conference in Durban, South Africa.

“I am truly thrilled by the efforts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and for their leadership in directing the course of the nation and state towards a diverse mixture of energy resources.

“This will help stabilize energy costs, bring new entrepreneurs into the energy field, create job growth, and cut local environmental impact and global greenhouse gas emissions growth,” Kammen said.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) had commissioned Kammen to prepare an energy options report for Sabah, in his capacity as Professor of Energy at the University of California in Berkeley.

“Energy and environmental victories often do not get the attention that negative events do, but here is a case where a collaborative set of environmental groups led by Green SURF worked with elected officials to create dialogue with the public, and to bring critically needed technical materials such as the energy options report we produced to decision makers.

"I am thrilled to have been able to work with the people of Sabah on this victory, and look forward to watching the international community learn from Sabah’s triumph of planning and partnership,” he said.

World Land Trust Chief Executive Officer and Founder, John Burton, congratulated the Government on making a rational decision that will have major benefits for all.
“It is good that they listened to public opinion, and shows a genuine commitment to the environment,” Burton said.

Lauding the Government’s decision, Malaysia’s South East Asia Field Coordinator Abe Woo said the move has chartered a new course in history of environmental movement and energy management.

“This signals a positive and responsive government as the whole international network of continues to support bold moves by the present government in combating climate change,” Woo said.

Jamie Henn, Communications Director described it as a “victory that’s felt all around the world.” is an international movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.

Environmental campaigner Roz Savage shared the State Government’s statement through Twitter, adding that she was honoured and proud to have been part of the campaign calling for the project to be canned. Savage was the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean and was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010.

Sabah born Yee I-Lann artist and creator of the “Postcards2PM” project which saw thousands signing postcards that were sent to Najib, hoped that the authorities including Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd will engage with environmentalists in providing sound solutions.

“I hope the authorities will keep environmental protection at the forefront of all development,” Yee said.

Green SURF also received a number of reactions at its blog site, with readers giving the thumbs up to the government, happy that their voices were heard.

Wednesday’s announcement by Musa that no coal plant will be constructed in Sabah came as a welcome surprise, following months of silence by the authorities after the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment study for a site in Lahad Datu was rejected in August last year.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Green SURF Lauds Move to Scrap Coal Plant


KOTA KINABALU (16 Feb 2011): A coalition of NGOs here has congratulated the State and Federal governments for finally putting a stop to a coal-fired power plant in Sabah.

In a statement, Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) commended the Sabah Government’s strong leadership under the stewardship of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for pioneering a new direction for the state and the nation.

Green SURF representative Ms Cynthia Ong said the coalition recognises the decision as one that is historic and described it as a “courageous step in shifting our development practices towards sustainability.”

“We have conveyed the long-awaited good news to all our international partners who will no doubt join us in acknowledging the outstanding leadership that has been shown.

“On behalf of the individuals, peoples’ movements, organizations and friends of Green SURF, we thank the Chief Minister and his State Cabinet for safeguarding our priceless natural heritage and strengthening Sabah’s role as an environmental trailblazer in the region,” Ong said.

She said the statement by Musa that the state cannot afford to put its natural environment at risk was testimony of the State Government’s commitment in protecting Sabah’s rich biodiversity.

The coalition founded in 2009 by WWF-Malaysia, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Sabah Environment Protection Association (SEPA), Partners of Community Organisations (Pacos) and Malaysian Nature Society (Sabah branch), felt the announcement by Musa on Wednesday was proof that views of all parties were taken into account.

Ong said Green SURF had worked hard to have its voice heard, including by turning up at the Parliament building last year to submit its objection, and by writing numerous letters to leaders in Government and its partners overseas.

“We were in the dark as to whether the Government planned to proceed with the coal plant, as we received very minimal feedback.
“Green SURF, and the thousands who had opposed dirty energy in Sabah, take it that our voices were heard and we thank the State and Federal governments for taking this bold step,” Ong said.

She said much time has been wasted on plans to build a coal plant, and that immediate steps must be taken to overcome power shortage through other energy sources, particularly on the east coast.

“We are here to stay and we are ready and willing to work with both the State and Federal governments in identifying and implementing solutions,” Ong said.

Related Link:

Kenyataan Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman,Ketua Menteri Sabah mengenai KEPUTUSAN KERAJAAN UNTUK TIDAK MEMBINA Loji Janakuasa Arang Batu di Sabah



Kenyataan Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman,Ketua Menteri Sabah mengenai KEPUTUSAN KERAJAAN UNTUK TIDAK MEMBINA Loji Janakuasa Arang Batu di Sabah

16 Februari 2011

Sukacita saya memaklumkan bahawa Kerajaan Persekutuan dan Kerajaan Negeri telah bersetuju untuk membangunkan sumber tenaga alternative iaitu dengan menggunakan gas bagi memenuhi keperluan bekalan tenaga di Sabah.

Bagi pihak Kerajaan Negeri dan rakyat Sabah, saya merakamkan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Y.A.B. Perdana Menteri, yang bukan sahaja memberikan perhatian yang serius kepada keperluan bekalan tenaga di Sabah, bahkan juga keperihatinan yang tinggi terhadap alam sekitar kita.

Y.A.B. Perdana Menteri amat memahami bahawa sementara kita perlu meningkatkan keupayaan bekalan tenaga di Sabah, ia tidak boleh dilakukan dengan mengabaikan kesejahteraan rakyat dan kelestarian alam sekitar.

Y.A.B. Perdana Menteri juga memahami bahawa salah satu daripada aset berharga yang dimiliki oleh Sabah ialah daya tarikan alam semulajadinya yang masih terpelihara. Sementara Sabah perlu meningkatkan bekalan tenaga untuk memenuhi keperluan pembangunan, kita tidak boleh mengambil sebarang risiko kepada alam semula jadi.

Sebagai kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab, sememangnya menjadi keutamaan kita untuk melindungi dan memelihara kelestarian alam semulajadi demi kesejahteraan rakyat. Kita mesti melindungi khazanah ini khususnya alam semulajadi kita kerana ia merupakan salah satu penyumbang terbesar kepada sektor pelancongan negeri.

Pertumbuhan aktiviti ekopelancongan dan yang berbentuk nature adventure bergantung kepada sejauh mana kita dapat memelihara khazanah alam semulajadi dan tidak mendedahkannya kepada sebarang risiko.

Saya sedar bahawa terdapat bantahan terhadap cadangan pembinaan loji arang batu. Pada hari ini terbukti bahawa segala bantahan tersebut telah diberi perhatian yang sewajarnya.

Kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) di bawah kepimpinan Y.A.B. Perdana Menteri adalah kerajaan yang sentiasa mendengar suara dan merasai denyutan nadi rakyat. Kita mempunyai keazaman dan iltizam politik (political will) yang tinggi dalam membuat keputusan yang bukan mudah, iaitu untuk tidak membina loji arang batu di Sabah. Kita sentiasa melaksanakan pendekatan seimbang dan mapan dalam memacu pembangunan.

Kerajaan BN juga menyedari bahawa keperluan tenaga di Sabah perlu dipenuhi bagi memastikan kesinambungan pembangunan di seluruh negeri termasuk di kawasan Pantai Timur, yang kerap mengalami kekurangan tenaga.




16th FEBRUARY 2011

I am pleased to announce that Federal and State Governments has agreed to pursue other alternative sources of energy namely gas to meet Sabah's power supply needs.

On behalf of the State Government and the people of Sabah, I wish to accord my heartfelt thanks to YAB PM for not only being attentive to our power supply needs but also for his grave concern over our environment.

The Prime Minister understands that while we need to build up our power supply in Sabah, it can't be done at the expense of the people's welfare and the environment.

The PM understands that one of Sabah's greatest assets is its natural attractions and still somewhat pristine environment. While Sabah needs to increase power supply to meet increasing development, the state cannot afford to put its natural environment at risk.

As a responsible government, it is paramount that we put priority on protecting our environment for the wellbeing of the people. We must also protect the environment especially since its one of biggest tourism draw in the Sabah.

The growth of nature adventure ecotourism depends on how well we keep our natural environment intact and not expose it to unnecessary risks.

I know there has been certain objections to the proposed coal powered plant. Today is proof that such objections have not fallen on deaf ears.

The BN government under the able leadership of YAB PM is a government that listens to people and has the political will to take the higher road and not bring coal to Sabah. Our approach towards development will be balanced and sustainable.

The BN government is also mindful that Sabah energy needs must be met to ensure equitable development throughout the state including the east coast where there is a shortage of power.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clean Coal Plant for Sabah a Myth: Green SURF


KOTA KINABALU (9th Feb 2011): A group of NGOs here today voiced their opposition to branding any proposed coal plant in Sabah as “clean,” as no such facility exists anywhere in the world at present.

It also warned that any further attempt to force a coal plant in Sabah will close doors to the development of renewable energy in a state that not only has biomass from oil palm waste, but one that is also branding itself worldwide as a biodiversity and ecotourism hub, potentially attracting funds for clean energy options.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) said the term “clean coal” should refer only to the idea of building coal plants that capture carbon emissions and then store the carbon underground, stressing that the Government and Tenaga Nasional Berhad must stop misleading the public.

“This is a dream for the future, not a present reality. No plant of this kind exists anywhere in the world yet. The Sabah plant, like every other coal plant in the world, will not be able to capture and store carbon. At best, reports show such a facility will only come on stream in 2030.

“Having basic controls on emissions of certain gases and on wastewater does not make a coal plant `clean.’

“What those proposing the plant seem to be talking about when they talk about ‘clean coal’ is the fact that the plant will have certain pollution control devices that minimise the release of pollutants other than carbon dioxide,” Green SURF said in a statement issued today.

The group decided to highlight the issue of clean coal technology as repeated statements had been made on the matter by the Energy, Water and Green Technology Ministry, apart from Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd.

Green SURF said the fact that the government has not scrapped a proposed 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu gives rise to speculation that there are plans to proceed with it. Past reports state that the proposed project will use clean coal technology.

The group said removing sulfur dioxide, a compound that causes acid rain, and use of low nitrous oxide burners, among other measures, do not merit calling the plant a “clean coal” one.

“These measures only partially control the release of pollutants they are designed to control, and do not do anything about carbon dioxide emissions.

“In no way does the inclusion of standard and usually legally-required features merit calling the power facility in Sabah a “clean coal” type. In Malaysia, we do not have the necessary stringent laws that restrict such pollution,” it said.

Green SURF said the Credit Suisse Group has estimated US$15 billion (about RM45 billion) needs to be invested in carbon capture and storage technology, while the Pew Center on Global Climate Change has stated the cost could be as high as US$30 billion (about RM90 billion).

According to a TIME Magazine article on Jan 10, 2009 titled “Exposing the Myth of Clean Coal Power,” there is currently no economical way to capture and sequester carbon emissions from coal, and that experts doubt there would ever be.

Numerous reports have also pointed out that the cost of generating power from coal using carbon capture technology will be significantly higher.

“The cost and energy just to produce “clean coal” would make using coal just or more expensive than using wind, solar and other renewables.

“We must also remember that coal can never be clean for as long as it involves removing mountains, displacing local communities in the mining process, and polluting their environment.

“Coal ash, a solid by product of burned coal contains arsenic and could bring to a rise in cancer cases by several hundred times, the US Environmental Protection Agency has reported,” Green SURF said.

The group further warned that escalating global food prices which are also impacting Malaysia, were to a certain extent caused by climate change, and that one report has estimated changes in weather could cause prices to go up by 20 per cent within this decade.

“Scientists say 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity, and that is why Green SURF is here. We want to play our part in bringing the level of carbon dioxide down from its present 389 parts per million.

Green SURF was set up over a year ago following the announcement by the Federal Government that a 300 megawatt coal plant would be built in Kampung Sinakut, Lahad Datu.

The coalition’s founding members are WWF Malaysia, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Sabah Environment Protection Association (SEPA), Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Sabah branch.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Anti coal stand has support!

We refer to the letter by Mr David Lee titled “Anti-coal group not majority” published in the Daily Express Forum page on Jan 9, 2011. While Mr Lee has every right to express his views over the issue of building a coal-fired power plant in Sabah, we believe there are many points which must be clarified.

It was stated that the anti-coal plant group, which was not named except in one sentence as “Green Turf” but is presumably in reference to Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future), does not represent the silent majority who has not spoken one way or another about the project proposal and would rather have electricity supplied to their homes and industries.

Contrary to this, the public has shown support towards Green SURF, as evidenced through social network sites and through personal communication with our members. Some of our coalition members have since 2008 collected over 50,000 signatures protesting the construction of a coal plant in Sabah.

At a public forum held last year, a majority of the 400 people who attended voiced their opposition towards the plant. When the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) study was put up for scrutiny, it is the public that came forward and wrote in to the Federal Department of Environment (DOE) with their views, with hundreds sending a copy of their letters to Green SURF. The DOE later rejected the study but its reasons were not made public.

It must also be pointed out that the Sabah State Government had made a decision in April 2008 when it rejected the proposed 300 megawatt plant when it was to be built in Silam, Lahad Datu, citing “health and environmental reasons.”

When a second proposal was made to have it sited in Sandakan, locals in the east coast town stood up to say no, and the project was quickly scrapped. A third site was proposed in September 2009, this time at the Dent Peninsula, and within a month, five influential non-governmental organisations got together to form Green SURF to lend a voice based on facts on why Sabah can do without a coal-fired power plant.

Green SURF subsequently commissioned University of California in Berkeley Professor of Energy, Daniel M. Kammen, to carry out an independent study on Sabah’s energy options. Prof Kammen, who is now Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at The World Bank, and his team concluded that 42 of 117 palm oil mills (when the study was carried out in the first quarter of 2010) in Sabah are large enough to produce 380MW of power. Based on costs and available incentives for renewable energy, the study found that biomass waste projects at large mills are cost-competitive with coal.

However, in order to generate power from palm oil waste, the Government must consider removing the 10MW cap imposed on independent power producers taking part in the Small Renewable Energy Production (SREP) programme. There is also a need for utility companies to buy electricity from SREP producers at more than the maximum 21 sen per kilowatt hour (kWh) paid now for energy from waste like biomass. The ball is in the Government’s court.

The study also advocates the phasing out of costly fossil-fuel subsidies that distort energy markets making them unfairly competitive with other options, and to continue studies on the feasibility of renewable investments at known geothermal, wind and environmentally-friendly micro hydro sites.

In short, there is no need for a debate at all. The team’s study has found the available mix of biomass waste from plantations, run-of-the river hydropower, and geothermal would be more than sufficient to meet the capacity totals of the proposed coal-fired power plant. Not only can this mix of renewables meet demand, but do so while preserving the exceptional economic value and potential of ecotourism on the east coast, as well as locking in energy at a fixed cost at a time when global coal prices are rising, as acknowledged even by Tenaga Nasional Berhad and the Malaysian Government. A suite of solutions makes the most sense, and as a benefit, the diversity of supply helps protect the region from resource or geopolitical shortages.

Mr Lee also makes a number of comparisons to other countries, including “tourists drawing” nations like Australia which use coal to produce power. Local damages due to usage of coal to generate electricity are always there, and can be kept to a minimum only if very high quality monitoring is done, and in a consistent manner. We are not convinced of this following our communication with a group in Perak that has shared with us how the Manjung plant, which TNB repeatedly refers to as the model for Sabah, has led to environmental problems mainly among fishermen.

And while Mr Lee argues that others are using coal and therefore we should too, since it won’t make a difference when emissions fill the air, we would like to state that global impacts of generating electricity from coal cannot be resolved, but that we in Sabah can become an example to the rest of the world on doing things right. The notion that there is nothing to stop the export of carbon dioxide from coal plants in Indonesia, is also flawed and misleading. Our neighbour has just committed to going green, and is now investing in the protection of Kalimantan, and a shift to the use of geothermal energy. So, yes, if Indonesia can do it, why not Sabah?

We do, however, thank Mr Lee on highlighting the problem of run-off from plantations, which could have an impact on corals and fish off Dent Peninsula. Building a coal plant will not resolve this problem. What we need is strong commitment on the part of the Malaysian Government to find use for biomass waste so that it does not go into rivers and the bay. This is no longer an option. It would be best to convert this waste into fuel for a biomass power plant, and one that has no net carbon dioxide emissions because the same amount of biomass that is used will be re-grown on plantations, leaving it in a “steady state.” The biomass scheme will actually protect rivers and waters around the Dent Peninsula. Coal will not.

Some nations mentioned by the writer are not signatories of the Kyoto protocol, while Malaysia is, showing that we have already taken some positive steps, the latest being the pledge to cut carbon intensity by 40 per cent in 2020 compared to 2005 levels. We are not going to be able to meet our promises to the world if a coal plant is built in Sabah.

Some of the countries mentioned have abundant coal reserves, while Sabah only has some deposits at Maliau Basin. Sabah has not had any coal plants, so why start using dirty fuel now? Even the United States has cancelled over 400 proposed coal plants, and the Washington Post recently reported that not a single new coal fired power plant was constructed in the US, two years running. The Washington Post quoted Deutsche Bank global head of assets management, Kevin Parker, as saying "Coal is dead man walking" and that "banks won’t finance them, insurance companies won’t insure them, and the economics to make it clean don't work."
Another assertion made was that green energy facilities pollute the environment as millions of tonnes of iron, copper and coal is needed to manufacture oil and gas, hydro and biomass infrastructure. This is wrong. Studies have shown that the life cycle impact of energy needed to develop renewable energy technologies is trivial compared to their benefits.

Mr Lee’s statement that the DEIA should not have been rejected by authorities over spelling mistakes shows that he has not read the report. It was full of technical inaccuracies and inadequacies, and we believe this is the reason the Federal Department of Environment rejected the study.

There are a number of other allegations made by Mr Lee, some of which do not deserve being addressed, as he may not be aware of key environmental issues and the numerous warning signs and studies done on climate change. It is an indisputable fact that burning fossil fuels such as coal is the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

We only care for what happens to our children, and their children. And that is why we have taken this responsibility to speak out against the coal plant, even at risk of becoming unpopular.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arang Dilarang Bumper Sticker

UPDATE: The coal fired power plant is being revived AGAIN. Please support the effort to let the Federal Government know that SABAH need NO COAL as power to energy.

Spread the NO COAL message across Sabah by sticking the ARANG DILARANG window sticker on to your car. Even thou the plan to build the first coal fire power plant in sabah was cancelled, this doesn't mean we're free from it. We need to be constant reminded that there are people who still building coal fired power plant outside sabah and around the world.

At RM5 a piece you can get the stickers. You can get it at Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) office at

8AF13, 8th Floor, Kompleks Karamusing,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

or map

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For those who is outside Sabah, please email for instruction to get this window sticker or by facebook at the link below

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SEPA Official Website