Forum shares info on coal power plant

Posted on July 28, 2010. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star- LAHAD DATU: Some 600 locals including villagers from Sinakut, the area proposed for the controversial 300 megawatt coal power plant, turned up at a forum for a greener Sabah here.

The public forum at SJK (C) Siew Ching, kicked off with students reciting to the audience the importance of a clean environment and why everyone should protect the state’s rich biodiversity.

WWF-Malaysias Borneo Programme chief technical officer Dr Rahimatsah Amat, WWF-Malaysia marine biologist Nina Ho and Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) Sandakan chairman Charles Chow presented papers at the event.

Rahimatsah touched on the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) for the plant, while Chow went into the finer points of understanding the document that was released last month by the Department of Environment.

Ho spoke about the marine environment, stressing on the fact that the area proposed for the coal plant was important for marine life and food security.

SEPA Lahad Datu decided to organise the forum following requests by locals who wanted to know more about the issue.

Villagers from the Silam area, the first proposed site for the plant, also attended, lending their support at the forum.

Following strong protests, the project slated for Silam was cancelled in 2008, and last year, a second proposed site in Sandakan was also scrapped following opposition by local communities.

Many took the opportunity to sign a petition started by Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) to get the Government to scrap the project.

SEPA is a member of Green SURF along with WWF-Malaysia, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Partners of Community Organisations (Pacos).

The public was also reminded to send in written comments to the DOE before July 31, as just voicing opinions verbally or through social websites was not sufficient.

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