SAPP vows to scrap controversial dams and coal plant proposals
PENAMPANG, August 18, 2010: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has vowed to
scrap the controversial coal-fired power plant in Sinakut, Lahad Datu, and
the two proposed dams in Kaiduan, Papar and in Kg Tambatuon, Kota Belud
when it comes to power in the next general election.
Promising this was SAPP President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, while speaking at
the official launching of its Kg Nambazan branch in Moyog here on Sunday.
The said ceremony was held at the residence of its branch chairman
Also present at the occasion were former State Finance Minister Datuk Mohd
Noor Mansor, SAPP deputy presidents Datuk Eric Majimbun and Datuk Liew
Teck Chan, its Secretary-general, Datuk Richard Yong, its Information
Chief Chong Pit Fah, its Moyog vice chairmen, Aloysius Danim Siap, Florian
Chong and Alex Masabal.
"We shall fulfill whatever promises that we have made as Credibility is
one of SAPP's seven values," declared Yong to the thunderous applause of
The former chief minister of Sabah was convinced that this can be achieved
citing that under the Federal and State constitutions, both land and water
supply come under state jurisdiction.
"Hence, whatever developments which the State government do not agree with
can be stopped. We will then look into the various other options which are
more environmental-friendly and efficient like natural gas, micro hydro
dam etc with full consultation with the stakeholders," he said.
He also contended that all these proposed mega projects are unnecessary,
with inflated costs and do not benefit the people.
"Why must we allow our natural gas be siphoned all the way to Bintulu,
Sarawak instead of keeping it for our own use, to power our houses and
industries, instead of purchasing the coal from Kalimantan, Indonesia for
the coal-fired power plant purchased from China, at a whopping cost of
RM1.7 billion? While Petronas and TNB (Tenaga Nasional Bhd) are laughing
all the way to the bank, all that the people of Sabah will get at the end
of the day is a host of pollution-related health issues," he said.
Sabahans will also be the ones who have to pay higher electricity bills
due to the inflated cost of the coal plant.
He questioned the rationale behind the increase in the project cost from
RM1.2 billion to RM1.7 billion, even before it is implemented. He was
concerned that the cost may further increase when the project is
On the proposed Tambatuon dam project, Yong said he was outraged by the
recent statement by the Federal Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry
Minister, Datuk Seri Noh Omar that the RM450 million project is meant for
"Irrigation of the padi fields can always be done by channeling water from
the nearby rivers, it's not necessary to build a mega dam," he argued,
adding that the said amount of money should be better utilize to provide
for better irrigation, to construct better roads and to provide subsidies
for the farmers.
He added that Noh Omar's recent declaration that the Government will
proceed with the project despite objections from the people in the
surrounding areas again revealed that all these while the State Barisan
Nasional (BN) leaders and elected representatives had been misleading the
people by saying that the Government would first listen to the people's
views before making a decision.
As for the proposed Kaiduan dam project, he expressed surprise that the
elected representatives concerned claimed that they were "in the dark"
over the matter when it had been announced by the contractor involved much
"SAPP youth wing has initiated a solidarity gathering for the three issues
and if the Government proceeds with these projects, there will be protests
in the state.
"We have taken a stand that we will hold a major protest if they
(Government) proceed with any of these projects," he said, adding that all
these pressing issues exist due to the fact that the people of Sabah have
been divided by the Federal government.
"If we in Sabah are united, I doubt they (Federal government) dare to do
this to us," he said.
He thus stressed that it's time for Sabahans to wake up and to stop
repeating the past mistake of being exploited by the UMNO/BN-led Federal
government through the 'divide-and-rule' tactic, which had been
successfully applied on the various State governments during USNO, Berjaya
and PBS eras.
"We are easily divided therefore we are easily ruled and this is still
happening in Sabah today," he noted.
Such a tactic, he said is now being intensified by the BN-led Federal
government following the outcome of the last general election where BN
lost its two-third majority in Parliament besides the five states plus the
federal territory of Kuala Lumpur to the opposition.
He said BN now realized the importance of Sabah and Sarawak without whom
it would have lost the Federal government in the last general election.
Yong cited that among the glaring examples of such tactic was the Federal
government reversal of its decision on the Sabah Sarawak gas pipeline
He recalled that the then Prime Minister Tun Ahmad Abdullah Badawi had
during his visit to Sabah to attend the state-level Harvest Festival here
on 31 May 2008, declared that the Government would not proceed with the
said project. This was following a request from UPKO, so that the natural
gas found in Sabah could be kept for its own utilization.
"This (the announcement on the cancellation of the project) was not from
anybody but the Prime Minister himself. But six months later, during his
visit to Kota Kinabalu, he (Abdullah) reversed the decision.
"When I read the news I realised that our friends in UPKO had been taken
for a ride.
"Let me ask Tan Sri Bernard Dompok - where did Abdullah Badawi choose to
announce the decision to go ahead with the gas pipeline? There answer to
this is - it was at the PBS congress where Pairin (PBS President) was
sitting next to him (Abdullah Badawi). This was a message to UPKO that
don't try to be smart as we (KL) still have PBS. This is a glaring divide
and rule tactic," he highlighted.
On the illegal immigrants issue, Yong took a swipe at Putatan MP, Datuk
Marcus Mojigoh that he was actually not angry with Datuk Seri Idris Jala,
the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of the National
Key Results Area (NKRA) when the later revealed that the illegal
immigrants issue is not included in the NKRA.
"He (Marcus) was angry not because the issue was not included in the NKRA
but rather that Idris had exposed the secret that the Federal government
do not have the intention to resolve the illegal immigrants problem in
Sabah," he said.
He added that the Federal government's glaring lack of political will and
sincerity in resolving the perennial issue is further confirmed when the
Government during Abdullah's helm announced a meager budget of RM50
millions under the then Deputy Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib to undertake
the monumental task, following pressure from SAPP MPs Datuk Eric Majimbin
and Datuk Chua Soon Bui, who had declared a vote of no confidence against
"It was all talk only where until today nothing has been done to address
the problem and, this was further confirmed when Idris recently revealed
that it (illegal immigrants issue) was not in the national agenda. Do you
think that UPKO and PBS leaders really don't know about this (the
non-inclusion of the issue in the NKRA) despite been in the government for
so long?" he asked.
Yong later received some new membership forms from Benjamin.