Chua urges protection of biodiversity in Sabah
Lumpur, July 16, 2010: Member of Parliament for Tawau, Datuk Chua Soon Bui
urged the relevant ministry to extend the Wildlife Conservation Act to
Sabah so as to benefit protection because Sabah is classified as the most
biodiverse place on earth, home to 380 species of mammals, 664 birds, 100
amphibians, 394 fishes with over 500 species of reef-building corals and
"These also included the endangered, rare and going to extinct species
of smallest elephant on earth, the Borneo pygmy elephants, Borneo
rhinoceros, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, turtles, crocodiles
etc.," in her debate on the Wildlife Conservation Bill 2010 in Parliament.
"I strongly objected to the building of the 300 MW of Coal Power plant
in Sahabat, Lahad Datu or anywhere in Sabah, I also wanted to record my
objection to the project based on the EIA public views with the following
Debate on the Wildlife
Conservation Bill 2010
"Although this Wildlife Conservation bill 2010 doesn't apply to Sabah, I am
going to bring up the problems in Sabah which are also universal problems
in Peninsular Malaysia.
There are a few issues relevant to the bill which I would like to raise :-
(1) Protection of Wildlife, Marine life and the biodiversity in Sabah.
I strongly objected to the building of the 300 MW of Coal Power plant
in Sahabat, Lahad Datu or anywhere in Sabah , I also wanted to record my
objection to the project based on the EIA public views with the following
I urge the ministry to extend this Act to Sabah so that the relevant
sections can be enacted in Sabah for the benefits of wildlife protection
under both the federal and state ministries and departments.
(a) Sabah has been classified as the most bio-diverse place on earth,
home to 380 species of mammals (44 are endemic), 664 birds (51 are
endemic), 100 amphibians, 394 fish (149 are endemic), with over 500
species of reef-building corals,15,000 plants (6,000 are endemic).
These also included the endangered, rare and going to extinct species
of smallest elephant on earth, the borneo pygmy elephants, borneo
rhinoceros, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, Hornbills, turtles, crocodiles
Many of these rare and endangered species are in Tabin Wildlife
Sukau, Danum Valley Conservation Area, Maliau Basin, which is in the
process of being nominated as a world heritage site by the Sabah
Government, Lower Kinabatangan conservation area, Sepilok Orang Utan
Sanctuary and the famous coral triangle.
All these richness of the world bio-diverse ecosystems are going to be
destroyed with the proposed building of the 300 MW coal power at Sahabat,
I wanted to propose to the Ministry to propose to gazette the East
Coast of Sabah, the conservations areas and the sanctuaries which I have
mentioned as World heritage ecology and biodiversity sites.
Malaysia has committed and had signed the treaty of the Coral Triangle
in May 2009 with Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea
and East Timor, agreed to coordinate the protection of marine resources in
the 1.6 billion acres and support 75 % of all coral species known in the
When Malaysia is so committed to this Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME)
at the apex of the Coral Triangle to protect the biodiversity of the
region, why isn't the government committed to our own land.
No money can buy back or repair the catastrophic damage by the
pollutions from the Coal power plant to both the environment and the
people in Sabah.
(b) In 1991, a Holland utility company joint venture with the Sabah
state government to plant trees at a conservation area Tabin Wildlife
conservations area, for carbon credit, millions of trees had been planted
for the past 20 years.
Many research have been conducted in this areas by scientists and
students from all over Malaysia, all over the world. When other people
from over the world treasured with what we have, why is SESB/TNB so
insistence to force the dirty and toxic coal power plant down the throats
(c) It is not true and wrong to misled the people at kg. Sinakut,
Sahabat , Lahad Datu that nobody has objected to the building of the coal
When the coal power plant was first proposed in Silam,. Lahad Datu in
2006, it was objected by the people in Lahad Datu. the Proposal was moved
It was again unanimously rejected by the Sabah state cabinet in April
2008 on pollution risk to health and environmental ground. What is the
rational of moving the proposal to Sahabat for the 3rd time when the real
issues of pollution still is the threatening factor.
The Green Surf from Sabah who visited the Parlimen few weeks ago
submitted and voiced their objections, and to seek for clean Energy and
Green Development in Malaysia. Experts from UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan
Malaysia) also voiced their concern on the EIA process on the coal power
Many many more NGO, Malaysians and NGO from other countries also voiced
their concern and objections.
(d) It is pointless to cheat ourselves or all the Malaysians in Sabah
that this coal power plant is clean or harmless to the environment. We
just had a briefing from Ministry of energy, Green Technology and Water
regarding the building of nuclear energy provider, specialists from Korea
also admitted that coal power plant emitted the largest amount of Carbon
dioxide CO2 into the air among all the power providers.
I would like to know what is the SESB/TNB going to do on the discharge
of particles bigger than 100mg/m3 when the ESP (Electrostatic
precipitator) can only only remove particles not smaller than 100mg/m3
with a temperature of 120 degree C.
What is the ministry going to do with the high acidic and high
temperature flue discharge of about 120°C
when any high temperature above 30°C
will be destructive to the Coral and marine life. Even with the Sea water
cooling turbines condenser, the temperature would be around 50°C.
Adding to the high temperature would be the Turbines Oil System also use
sea water as a circulating water for cooling. The high utilisation of the
seawater would be harmful to the coral and marine life.
In the EIA report on the proposed coal power plant, the study also
admitted that coal power plant would raise the sea surface temperature by
4 degree Celsius in certain areas.
(e) A study conducted in March 2010 by Berkeley, University of
California, world leading energy experts at Renewable and Appropriate
Energy Laboratory gave detailed recommendations on how Sabah's energy
needs can be substituted by other forms of renewable energy options other
Another meeting in Sabah conducted by researchers in Malaysia in 2010
also recommended renewable and green alternatives to coal.
(f) It is ridiculous for SESB/TNB to guarantee the clean coal power
supply when the penalty for non compliance under 34A of the Environmental
Quality Act 1974 is only RM100,000 maximum or imprisonment of not more
than 5 years or both.
It is a piece of cake when TNB's profit from Dec 2009 to Feb 2010 was
(g) I urge the related ministry to stop the coal power plant in Sabah,
the people of Sabah or the fate of our health, environment and future
should not be decided in the few hands of the authority.
There are many IPP in west Malaysia who also objected the coal power
plant in Sabah and willing to build other renewable sustainable energy
supply to Sabah based on RM 1.7 billions for 300 MW.
I would like to know whether the Prime Minister had been misled when he
announced that the coal power plant is the only viable source of power
production in Sabah. Is the government prepared to turn your fixed deposit
into deficit in Sabah?
(2) Protection of wildlife especially endangered species, habitats in the
development of Agriculture.
With the implementation of the Wildlife conservation bill 2010, I hope
it will help to erase the negative perception of Malaysia as European
countries and United states tried to reduce or boycott buying our Palm Oil
and its products of bio-fuel, processed food, cosmetic and toiletry
products, reasons given ,due to the non compliance to sustainability
The concerns about deforestation for the planting of oil palm , with
total area of 4,304,913 acres in Malayisa,was said to have devastated the
rainforests, and its habitats especially for endangered species.
Whether it's a political or economical agenda by the international
buyers, It is our role and responsibility to conserve our environment and
our wildlife, a balance ecological with richness of biodiversity system
will prevent the drastic climate changes happening in the world.
We can't deny the facts that many habitats especially the Elephants ,
orangutans and many species of monkeys are deprived of their natural foods
due to the opening up oil palm plantations.
A family group of elephants could easily destroy over a few hundreds of
acres of oil palm trees for food overnight. Although many big plantations
have used electrified fence to prevent the entry of elephants as a
deterrent measure but it's time to set up more wildlife reserves or
wildlife sanctuaries so that injured animals can be rehabilitated, the
endangered species would survive in their natural environment without
being endangered or hunted.
There is much to be learned from the successful rehabilitation centre
for OrangUtan, which is well know in the world is in Sepilok, Sandakan,
Is there any plan by the Ministry on the protection of rare species in
the world, eg. Bornean Pygmy Elephant, the smallest elephant in the world,
rare species of deer etc?
(3) the bill should regulate and develop but not strangulate the
Swiftlet Edible Birds Nest Industry. (Perusahaan Sarang Burung Layang
(a) There are too many authorities governing the swiftlets birds nest
rearing industry namely, operating licence from the local council,
enforcement by veterinary department under agriculture ministry, health
inspection under the ministry of health, the good animal husbandry
practices, and now the a license to bird nest harvesting, purchase, import
and export under the ministry of sumber asli dan alam sekitar.
Is there any plan by the government to set up a body to regulate and
govern the swiftlets bird nest industry for better effectiveness
management and development.
The industry players are confused with the Garis Panduan Perusahaan
Sarang Burung Layang Layang (Known as 1GP), to be enforced under which
department or ministry.
They are further confused with Good Animal Husbandry Practices as
swiftlets are free flying birds, they are free to come and go and not in
captivity liked bee-rearing for honey.
(c) General guidelines are not provided in the licensing requirements
and process for harvesting, purchase, sale import and export of bird nest
hence making the licensing non transparent and can lead to abuse. Specific
reasons should be given for the rejection of the licence.
(d) As there are sufficient authority under the licence as mentioned
above for enforcement, the inclusion of Selling only to licensed
purchasers will add another level of bureaucracy as it encourage monopoly
and should be abolished.
The bird nest industry has grown with high economic impact and the
intended monopoly will destroy the industry as a whole.
(4)Whether scientists from abroad who are here for research on wildlife
would need a licence from the authority especially under section 45, on
(5)Why are there standardization of penalty and a liability of a fine
not exceeding RM20,000 or imprisonment or a term not exceeding one year or
both? Isn't it disproportionate to the offence for one who failed to renew
his licence as compared to actions against poachers in wildlife habitat?
(6) I object to the proposal by Datuk Ismail Hutson of the Malaysian
Zoological Association on his move to get Iconic and endangered animals
from Sabah, such as Borneo pygmy Elephants, Proboscis Monkeys , Orangutans
etc to be moved to Hulu Kelang Zoo.
Removing these rare species from their natural habitat will endanger
their lives. Furthermore, are there any trained personnel skillful enough
to handle and look after these animals especially Borneo pygmy Elephants.
What plans do the Ministry have to ensure there are enough well-trained
and skilful officers especially enforcement officers to manage and monitor
the wildlife under the bill.
We were very angry and sad and would like to ask what decision has been
made on the RELA officer who killed a tiger single-handedly, how does the
ministry ensure that such incident does not happen again?
In the recent International Workshop on Human-Crocodile Conflict (HCC)
in Kota Kinabalu that recognized the success of increased population of
saltwater crocodiles in Sabah, Sarawak and Borneo and saltwater Crocodiles
could be removed from the endangered list.
What formulation would be implied under such circumstances under this