Sabah gov’t welcomes Mahathir’s proposal to source coal from the East Malaysia
September 22, 2018, Saturday Neil Brian Joseph
Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government welcomes Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal to source coal from East Malaysia, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
He said the proposal will have an impact not only on the state of Sabah alone, but on the country as a whole.
Shafie said that the Sabah Government will conduct a thorough study on the potential of coal energy, considering the fact that it is a cheaper option for an energy source.
“We will study (the proposal) as it is a suggestion that I welcome. Sabah is a state that is far behind when it comes to its ability to supply power,’” Shafie said, adding that water and electricity supply are not the only issues that State Government should look at
“It was a very good proposal because it is represents a direction; not only for the state of Sabah but the country as well. (The proposal) will enable us to supply power that we currently have. Coal energy is much a cheaper option.
“Singapore is currently using coal energy. However, the technology they use for their energy is quite advanced. If this is something that we can look at and focus on; God-willing this would be something that we can accomplish,” the Finance Minister asserted.
Shafie, who spoke to reporters after officiating the Sabah State Community College Convocation Ceremony 2018, pointed out the fact that diesel energy, on the other hand, is far more expensive and that it is not environmentally conducive.
Recently, Mahathir has said that the Federal Government would not pursue nuclear energy and that it would consider locally-sourced fossil fuel like coal instead as ‘more can be done’ with it.
Mahathir pointed out that Malaysia has a lot of coal resources in Sabah and Sarawak, which could be exploited. With this, importing coal from neighbouring countries would no longer be necessary.
However, certain quarters of the state have expressed their discontent towards the proposal as some of them think that the proposal was a bad idea; taking into account the state’s current lack of infrastructure including water and electricity supply in rural areas.