SAPP to Raymond: Don't insult Sandakan folks
KOTA KINABALU, 23 June 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has
taken its former deputy president cum State Industrial Development
Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah to task, for claiming credit on
the cancellation of the construction of coal-fired power plant in
Sandakan, describing it as disgusting and a gross insult to the
people of Sandakan.
"What moral right has he got to try to claim credit now when all
these while he has been conspicuously quiet on the issue, except for
all the empty talks about forming a new political party but
eventually ended up in joining Parti Gerakan.
"Even then he failed to keep his coveted Deputy Chief Minister's
post besides being demoted from a more important portfolio of the
Infrastructure Development Minister's post to a less important
portfolio of the Industrial Development Minister's post," slammed
SAPP Vice President, Poon Kee Yang in a statement issued here
He was responding to a statement made by Tan in a local Chinese
dailies yesterday, claiming that the government has heard the
grouses of the Sandakan folks and has decided to cancel the sitting
of the controversial project in Sandakan.
He contended that the cancellation of the sitting of the said
project was largely due to strong objection of the Sandakan folks,
with the support of SAPP and NGOs like the Sabah Environment
Protection Association (SEPA) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"Both he (Tan) and the Elopura Assemblyman Au Kam Wah were nowhere
to be seen during the various public protests organized by the
'pressure group'," Poon noted.
He continued that there is nothing much for Tan to shout about
because although such a power plant would not be built in Sandakan
now, there are speculations that it would be built somewhere in
Lahad Datu, probably at Felda area.
The project was initially proposed to be sited at Silam, Lahad Datu
but was later cancelled by the State government following a strong
protest from the residents there. In announcing the scrapping of the
project, the Chief Minister Datuk Musa Hj Aman even cited
environmental and public health concerns as the main reasons behind
the cancellation. However, it was later announced that the project
will be sited in Seguntor, Sandakan.
Poon also challenged Au who is also the Sabah Energy Corporation
(SEC) Chairman make good use of his position to convince the State
government to instead opt for gas-fired power plant which is much
cheaper, cleaner, efficient and readily-available in the state.
"Failing which, it's only honorable that he steps down as SEC
Chairman as, if not for the support of the people, he is just
nobody," he said.
He also called on the State government to give a satisfactory
explanation on why the state is unwilling to fully utilize the
natural gas found in the state but rather have it siphoned-off to
the neighbouring state for processing before exporting it to another
He fervently maintained that SAPP would continue to object to the
construction of coal-fired power plant anywhere in the state, citing
its harmful impact on human and environment.