SAPP to continue its campaign against coal plant
KOTA KINABALU, Tues. (Feb 18, 2009) - The Sabah Progressive Party will
continue its campaign against coal-fired power plants in Sabah despite
having been declined a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration here
SAPP secretary-general Datuk Richard Yong We Kong said the
Party would buy advertising spaces in local newspapers and send petition
letters to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister to get its protest
Richard however thanked Kota Kinabalu OCPD ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria for
promising to consider allowing a permit for a rally or demonstration if it
is held indoors at a future date.
SAPP had planned to hold the demonstration, comprising about 100
people, at a spot near Wisma Innoprise, where the Chief Minister's office
Richard said SAPP's stand against coal-fired power plants is because of
the potential environmental problems caused by coal combustion.
It is urging the State and Federal governments to consider using the
abundant gas reserves in Sabah for power generation, claiming that gas is
cheaper and more environmentally acceptable.
"We are not against increasing power generation capacity in Sabah
because we know that Sabah needs to beef up its electricity supply. Our
objection is against coal-powered plants, and we strongly believe that
natural gas is a better option," said Richard.
SAPP said 'it does not make sense' that Sabah would allow the piping of
natural gas to Bintulu, in Sarawak, while insisting that the state should
allow the setting up of a coal-fired power plant in Sandakan using coal
National oil corporation, Petronas, is implementing a billion-ringgit
pipeline project to convey natural gas from Sabah to Bintulu. Following
persistent public protests, including from leaders of component parties of
the Barisan Nasional government, the project was supposed to have been
cancelled. It has since been revived and now looks set to be implemented
"We also take exception to the fact that the Sabah government seemed
powerless against the might of the Federal government and the commercial
interest of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (the project owner).
"It seemed that the Sabah government is being held to ransom, that
unless we allow TNB to build a coal-fired power plant, otherwise Sabah
will have to continue to live with constant power outages."