SAPP's objection of
coal-fired plants in Sabah
KINABALU, Mon. (Feb 16, 2009) - The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)
is stepping up its campaign on the State Government to abandon any
plans of building coal-fired power plants in Sabah.
Its secretary-general, Datuk Richard Yong, is applying for a police
permit to carry out a peaceful protest at the road leading to Wisma
Innoprise at Likas in Kota Kinabalu where the chief Minister's
department is located on Wednesday morning when the cabinet is
scheduled to meet as reported in the newspaper on Sunday, to
reiterate its objection to coal-fired power plants because of its
potential hazards to the environment.
The chief minister said the cabinet meeting will discuss and
identify the best way to generate enough power supply for east coast
"We urge the State Cabinet to cancel the proposed coal-fired plant
in Sandakan as was done in the case of Lahad Datu last April.
"We are echoing the concerns of the people of East Coast of Sabah
particularly those in Lahad Datu and Sandakan regarding the
construction of coal-fired power plant in the State of Sabah.
"We are not letting up on this issue, which we consider an issue of
immense public interest," he said. "We can no longer count on the
words of our leaders. One good example is the fact that while the
state government told us that the Seguntor plan has not been
approved, we saw earth works taking place on site."
SAPP president, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, appeared in a peaceful protest
at Seguntor, in Sandakan, last Friday to protest against a planned
coal-fired power plant in the area. Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the
national power company, is undertaking the project that will have a
capacity of 300 megawatts.
Visiting Lahad Datu last Saturday, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman
said there was an urgent need to build new power plants to satisfy
increasing power demands in the east coast of Sabah.
Lahad Datu was the original site for the proposed coal-burning power
plant. The State government bowed to public pressure and moved the
project to Seguntor. The plant is said to be acquiring China
technologies, and burn coal imported from Kalimanta, Indonesia.
Musa did not mention what feedstock the new east coast power plants
will use, but SAPP had suggested that the State Government should
use natural gas of which Sabah has abundant supply, and is cleaner
and cheaper as a fuel than coal.
SAPP took exception of the fact that the national petroleum company,
Petronas, has decided to build a 500-km long pipeline costing 3
billions ringgit to convey Sabah natural gas to Bintulu, in
neighbouring Sarawak instead of considering downstream uses of the
gas at the proposed petrochemical complex in Kimanis, about 50km
SAPP also queried why Sabah people is made to pay
for more expensive and polluting coal and diesel instead of natural
gas which is cheaper and cleaner. Consumers in Sabah are made to pay
for higher cost of electricity supply and suffer air pollution.