Hundreds gather at site for proposed coal-plant
July 23, 2010: Some 400 people gathered on Saturday at the
site for a proposed coal-fired power plant asking the government to stop
Comprising villagers from Kampung Sinakut and locals from Lahad Datu, the
group held up banners saying they do not want a coal-fired plant, as it
would have a negative impact on the environment.
They gathered at Sinakut, which is the site for the proposed plant, as a
sign of solidarity and opposition towards the project which happens to be
at the shores of the Coral Triangle, an area that harbours rich marine
Sinakut village headman Mr Jimi Uddin said locals were concerned about the
project as they are aware it would have an impact on their livelihoods.
"We are fishermen and we depend on the sea. We also have seaweed farms
which help us earn extra income.
"We were told that we would be relocated to Sungai Merah, which is away
from the sea. The government is carrying out this project without taking
into consideration our concerns. It is not true that we are for the
project," Jimi, 55, said.
The event at Sinakut was organized by the Lahad Datu chapter of the Sabah
Environment Protection Association (SEPA).
SEPA is a member of Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future), a
coalition of non-governmental organizations that are asking the government
to go for clean energy options instead of a coal plant.
Village elder Paklah Samad said he is objecting the plant because sea and
air pollution will have an impact on his children and grandchildren.
SEPA Lahad Datu spokesman Vincent Ng said 200 people drove up from this
east coast town to show their support to villagers.
"We are saying no because we live in Lahad Datu and we will be the first
to experience environmental impacts of this plant," Ng said in a statement
issued by Green SURF.
He said the gathering in Sinakut was aimed at showing Sabah Electricity
Sdn Bhd that the people of Lahad Datu do not want the plant.