Anti-coal power coalition Green Surf has made
inroads into Parliament, persuading speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia to set
aside time to debate the controversial coal-powered plant in Sabah.
(right) gave his word that MPs from both sides of the divide will
get 30 minutes each to debate the issue, though the issue is only
expected to be raised when debate ends on the 10th Malaysia Plan.
The group spoke to Pandikar in his chambers today, at a meeting arranged
by Sapp's Tawau MP Chua Soon Bui.
Also present were her Sapp colleague and Sepanggar MP Eric Majimbun,
Putatan MP Marcus Mojigoh of Sabah-based BN party Upko, DAP's Kota
Kinabalu MP Hiew King Chew and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, and PKR's Lembah
Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
"All I can do as speaker is to allow for this issue to be debated.
Thirty minutes is a lot of time, and I hope the MPs who will speak on
the issue will keep their focus on it," Pandikar said told the group.
He advised the coalition to continue pushing its case through the
relevant government channels, stressing that they should emphasise facts
and figures and avoid using politically-tinged arguments.
At a press conference later, Green Surf member Cynthia Ong said the
group acknowledges the need for more power in Sabah, but said the state
and federal governments should look at the many renewable energy options
available to the state.
coalition commissioned a report from UC Berkley California, by one of
the world's leading alternative energy experts. We have all the
resources necessary to go renewable in Sabah... more than many places in
the world," she said.
"Sabah has been a regional leader in conservation, and we're trying to
protect that. One of our biggest resources is eco-tourism, which is also
something we're trying to protect."
At the press conference, Nurul Izzah pointed out that the issue is one
of the few that cuts across political lines, as it focuses on conserving
a natural heritage that is important not only to Sabah but the nation.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz
accepted a memorandum from the group on behalf of premier Najib Abdul
Razak, and promised to raise the issue at the next cabinet meeting.
understand your sentiments and, as I said, I promise to bring this
matter up and hope that something can be done. I also believe the reefs,
the environment, once destroyed is lost forever," he said.
We don't want to lose this heritage which belongs to the people of
Copies of the memorandum were also presented to Natural Resource and
Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas, the speaker and several Sabah