Chua: govt's bluff over coal power
KOTA KINABALU, July 17, 2010: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was either lying or
betraying his ignorance when he said that coal was the only viable source
of power generation in Sabah. Tawau MP Chua Soon Bui said in a statement
today that the government had been misleading the public about the
necessity of setting up a coal-fired power plant on the Sabah east coast
and its impact on the environment.
Najib himself may have been misled by his advisers, she added.
Citing recent testimonies by experts engaged by the Ministry of Energy,
Green Technology and Water, she said it appeared that the government and
power companies had not been telling the truth when championing the use of
coal for power generation.
According to a recent briefing by Korean specialists, she said, coal-fired
plants emitted the largest amount of carbon dioxide among power
She also referred to a report released last March by the University of
California, which gave detailed recommendations of how Sabah could meet
its energy needs through renewable energy options.
A recent conference of Malaysian researchers had also concluded that there
were green and renewable alternatives to coal, she noted.
Chua asked if the government would still proceed with the plan to build a
coal-fired plant in Lahad Datu in the light of such findings.
She also blasted Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd for
their defence of the coal option, saying their guarantee of clean coal
power supply was disingenuous because they could afford to pay the penalty
for violating the Environmental Quality Act.
The maximum fine under the 1974 act is RM100,000, which would be a
pittance to the two power providers, she said.
By Queville To