The Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) has once again called on the
government to scrap the proposed coal-fired power plant in the state
as it brought more detriment than benefit for the state.
The party's Wanita chief Melanie Chia said that the decision to put
off the project was only reasonable as Energy, Green Technology and
Water Minister Peter Chin himself had said that the project was 'not
so pressing at the moment'.
also the Luyang state assemblyperson, said the revelation by the
federal minister only indicated that the project was not necessary.
Last week Chin was quoted in the media as saying that the government
was still looking for a suitable location for the project. He had
also said that the short and mid-term measures taken by the Sabah
Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) were expected to address the power demand
in the state.
Among the measures indicated by Chin was to increase the supply of
electricity from other independent power producers and to bring
power from the Bakun dam in neighbouring Sarawak.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had also on Thursday agreed to
approve an immediate allocation of RM26 million for SESB to buy
another 20 mobile generator sets, in addition to the existing 21
mobile generator, to increase power supply in the state.
Responding today, Chia, a former state assistant minister, said that
she had also suggested similar measures last week.
She said that these measures were sufficient to supply electricity
for the state without having to construct the coal-fired plant.
She urged Najib to intervene and convince both national power
supplier Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and SESB to heed the aspiration
of the Sabah people and scrap the proposed coal-fired power plant
project for good.
"The prime minister must listen to the voices from the ground," she
There are better alternatives
Many Sabahans, politician and members of the public alike, are not
in favour of the coal-fired power station as there are better
The issue has constantly been discussed in the local media in Sabah
since the idea of a coal-fired power station was first mooted in
Sabah a few years ago.
The rationale for the coal-fired project is that it could solve the
perennial problem of power breakdowns in the state.
However Chia and her party Sapp have been a fierce critic of the
coal-fired power plant. Sapp left the ruling Barisan Nasional
coalition last year.
Previously Chia had said that the coal-powered plant would create
problems like damaging the environment and will affect the
She added that the people also feared that the state's heritage,
Danum Valley, which is rich with first class coal deposits would be
mined once supplies from Indonesia or China become hard to get or
when both countries are unable to supply in the future.
"Tenaga Nasional, the 80 per cent owner of SESB has not sufficiently
considered non-coal options before embarking on the proposed
coal-powered plant in the East Coast," she had said.
She added that since solar power, wind power and bio-mass were not
yet commercially viable, TNB had a basic duty to the people of Sabah
to invest in hydroelectric power and natural gas energy.