Sabah coal plant: U-turn on verdict venue

By Queville To, Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: The venue for delivering the verdict on Sabah’s first coal-fired power plant has reverted to the state capital following an outcry by environmental activists here. State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Masidi Manjun clarified this yesterday in his response to an earlier statement that the panel review meeting on the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) would be held in Putrajaya.

The U-turn came after Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) senior general manager for operations Abd Razak Salim’s announcement that the meeting scheduled to be held here on July 27 had been shifted to Putrajaya instead.

“In response to my query, the GM of SESB has clarified that the meeting organised by DOE will be held in Kota Kinabalu,” Masidi said.

Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) president Wong Tack had earlier yesterday questioned the shift of venue to Putrajaya.

He noted that those who were invited by the DOE for the panel meeting had been earlier informed that it would be held at 2pm on July 27 at the Federal Department complex in Kota Kinabalu.

He said the government should now explain the quick turnaround.

“It also owes an explanation on why the meeting is going to be held five days before the July 31 closing date for the public and other interested parties to send in their comments to the Department of Environment (DOE) as advertised by the agency.

“We are very disappointed. The interest of Sabahans is involved here.

“Sepa is very upset by this and we will discuss this with the State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

“In fact, we may consider boycotting the whole process,” he said in a statement issued by Green Surf (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future).