Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clean Energy Please, This One Doesn't Qualify

Greetings, earthlings. :)

I return to you today, to bring a serious issue forward.

I'm not sure how many of you know about the fact that there has been a proposal to put up a coal-fired power plant here in Sandakan. Something like 200+ hectares of mangrove area will need to be cleared out.

Wait a minute. Did I say "proposed"? My bad.

It's already on the works. Mangroves cleared out. Heavy machinery already being put to work.

Apparently, the fact that humble Sandakan has been chosen as they site of this plant is supposed to be a source of pride for the residents here. At least that's the line upper echelons in the local government here have been touting.

Let's look at this bizarre notion carefully for a little while.

The people of Lahad Datu had already rejected the proposal, before having it passed onto the people of Sandakan. People of power (let us not name names, but if you know it, remember it and be wary) accepted their reasoning. But once the people here did the same, they were brushed off as if they didn't know what was good for them. Please.

The fact that the site is already up, even with the EIA report unfinished speaks volumes of the lack of integrity these people have.

This technology is practically obsolete, not to mention the environmentally suicidal. The magnitude of waste it produces is so alarming (and properly documented, at that) that it invited speculation on our leaders' mental capacity. Do they not read? Do they not know that there are other, more technologically advanced, and more importantly environmentally friendly alternatives? Wind, solar, biofuel. Come on, work with me here people.

On the same note, Sandakan has already been crowned the Nature City. What does it say about the "people of power" here that they let an environmental monstrosity be housed here?

Right beyond that hill, in the first picture, is a village called Bambangan. Right. Beyond. That. Hill. Picture this. Waking up early in the morning, stretching the night aches away. You take a deep breath and you smell... acrid smoke. Imagine spending you're whole life being neighbours with one of those factories that chug out poison as rule.

Another reason residents of the little village is hard pressed to feel proud of the project is the fact that the site is directly on their water catchment area. Or, their now non-existent water catchment area. The plant isn't even up yet, and already it's devastating affects to the surrounding residences are felt.

As of now, there are 30 odd NGOs involved in a move against the plant here in Sandakan. Repeated dialougues (shown on tv, although not live: surprise surprise) have been had with those of the opposite side, with the people asking for justifications. Their answer? An offhanded reply saying that if the Coal Plant isn't what they want, then all one has to do is suggest other options. Obviously, they seem to suffer from selective brain processes.

Recently, some members of these NGOs went for a site visit. RTM came along. A resident formthe village was interviewed, expressing his sadness over the destruction of their water catchment area, citing that it also held importance as a place of ritual; couples to be married would be bathed in the water, probably for luck. As they came to the entrance of the site, they were barred from entering.

I'll admit, on a personal note, that Sandakan does suffer from repeated blackouts, sometimes for hours at a time. But I would rather be groping around in the dark once in awhile than see the place of my birth be destroyed in the long run. And again I say, a coal plant is not the only option that we have. If we need to take more time to find better options, then I say, we take it. Cause once the coal plant comes to be, then our time might as well BE up.

If you'd like to know more about this matter, visit SaveSandakan.com or read this nose-thumbing letter by a concerned citizen.

Choose life.


eve said...

I am appalled.
Those idiots.

SheLa La La said...

I am glad you are back. It been quite a very long time you are not hear and talking about issue.

And this one just really concerning. I heard about that. But I do not expect it will be implemented.

This is what I called abuse of power. May I ask where this project come from? Where else, from the Government? and since when Government project considered the impact on environment and the people? They just go and do it on their own. even if they have considered on some other project but most of the time, they don't think thoroughly.

I hope people in Sandakan take prompt action, in fact all of us should. Sign a memorandum fight the cause. I hope the environmentalist will do something.

People power does work if we really want to. fight!

Anonymous said...

OMFG. This is indeed a major concern. Some idiots are being turned into millionaires as a result.

Rozella said...

Hai... things like this seems to be happening more often now lah. Sia pun ndak tau apa mau cakap oh. It's really very sad.

fie the elf said...


i am outraged.

E-Tavasi said...

Kesian hmm..diorang ingat asal projek siap saja, they never think or consider about impact that will come to other people around.