SAPP welcomes assurance, calls for gas-powered
plant for Sandakan
KINABALU, Thurs. (Feb 19, 2009) - The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)
welcomes the assurance that the construction of the proposed coal-fired
power plant at Seguntor, Sandakan, has not commenced.
It reiterated its call to the State Government to consider wider
utilisation of natural gas for power generation in the State.
SAPP secretary-general Datuk Richard Yong We Kong said the public
protests had apparently caught the attention of the State government
leaders on the public's sentiments on the subject.
He laughed off remarks that described the protests were unnecessary
saying that it was precisely because of the protests that he believed the
State government had not acted contrary to public opinion.
"If we had waited until the government had approved the project, then
our protests would have been too late, wouldn't it?" he said in response
to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan who yesterday said the State
Government has not committed itself to allowing Tenaga Nasional Berhad to
proceed with the power plant at Seguntor.
Said Datuk Richard: "We are pleased that the State Government has bowed
to public pressure on coal-fired power generation.
"We are pleased that there is no commitment by Sabah to allow TNB to
build the plant at Seguntor. We stand by our belief that if a coal-fired
power plant was originally not good for Lahad Datu, it is obviously also
not good for the people of Sandakan, or anywhere in Sabah."
Groups that opposed the proposed Sandakan power plant gathered at the
Seguntor site last Friday claiming that earth works had begun on the site,
and accused the State Government of concealing the truth. SAPP president
Datuk Yong Teck Lee was among the protestors.
Speaking to the media after the State Cabinet meeting here yesterday,
Datuk Raymond clarified and said it was wrong to accuse the State
Government of allowing the construction of the plant as it had not made
any commitment to TNB.
Meanwhile, Datuk Richard said SAPP is firm in its call to the State
government to consider cleaner alternatives of power-generation such as
natural gas, and to seriously re-consider its decision to allow the piping
of natural gas from Sabah to Bintulu, Sarawak.
"The Prime Minister promised the Sabah people that the gas pipeline
project was cancelled. But we understand that it is going ahead as
planned, except now the Petronas is talking about a petrochemical complex
at Kimanis and the building of a gas-fired power plant.
"We ask the Prime Minister to own up to his promises to stop the
pipeline construction. At the same time, why can't we consider building
another gas-powered generation plant in Seguntor, instead of using coal?"