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.
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
CM STATEMENT ON NO COAL POWER PLANT IN SABAH