Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sabah's Remarkble Transformation Through Malaysia

BERNAMA is a government mouthpiece. It tends to exaggerate the
achievements of the current BN government especially UMNO.

Statistics don't lie. Our salaries had not increased as much as our
neighbours especially Brunei and Indonesia. In fact, it had decreased
in many areas, taking into account the value of our currency.

In fact Brunei and Singapore never devalue their currencies like
Malaysia, while keep on increasing salaries, whereas in Sabah,
suppression of salaries and devaluations of currencies had made the
income of Sabahans to be 5 times less than Brunei. Indonesia salaries
had increased 300% in the last few years.

The facts are very clear, by 2006 Sabah has among the highest
incidence of poverty in the whole world. Sabah also has the highest
human trafficking cases in the whole world. All this accelerated
during the UMNO rule of Sabah, since 1994.

It is true that Sabah has improved, but at a much slower rate than
other regions included what used to be poor, such as Acheh, Rwanda,
Myanmar, Somalia, Darfur. As a result these regions had improved so
much while Sabah had not. The reason is vey clear.

The policy of the Federal government as state in the Newspaper article
by Taib Mahmud is very clear. Sabah and Sarawak had never been given
any priority in development because it is not cost effective. If this
is not very clear enough, there is now NO SPECIALIST HOSPITAL AT ALL,
in Sabah. Under PBS, the opposition, at least we had SMC, Sabah
Medical Centre. Even medical statistics is very sadly putting Sabah
among the poorest in the whole world. Even in Malaysia Sabah is far
far behing. No wonder, when it is the worst in the whole world.

If the Coal power plant were built, destroying our tourism industry
due to the destruction the environment, the contruction of the gas
pipelines across Sipitang, destroying livelihood of fishermen and tour
operators, while getting nothing for the gas itself, the FUTURE is
very DARK.

After all, it is very clearly stated in all government statements and
budgets. Sabah is not worth developing fast because it is never
economical, but its resources are worth sending to Malaya for free
despite the huge transportation and environmental costs, despite the
dire needs for Sabah. Sabah cannot even use the gas for themselves.
They had to import COAL at heavily subsidised prices.

Sabah's Remarkble Transformation Through Malaysia

By Emin Madi

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 19 (Bernama) -- When Donald Stephens, dressed in a
Kadazandusun traditional attire, read the proclamation of the
Federation of Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963, it was a highly meaningful and
exciting moment for the thousands of people at the Jesselton Town

Abdul Rahim Ismail was a form one student at Sabah College when he
witnessed the important event that not only marked the inauguration of
a new nation called Malaysia but officially confirmed Sabah's
participation in the federation.

"Although I knew what was going on but at that particular moment I did
not think much of the event's significance to my state as well as my
future," said Abdul Rahim.

The historical event at the town field now known as Padang Merdeka was
held in the presence of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the deputy prime
minister then.

After the proclamation was read, (Tun) Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun
was sworn in as Head of State and Donald Stephen (later to be known as
Tun Fuad Donald Stephen) as the Chief Minister of Sabah.

Looking back, Abdul Rahim, now a Datuk and a former state minister,
said being the son of a poor fisherman, there was nothing much to look
forward in life and he was unsure of his future.

"But independence has indeed brought new hope to the people of Sabah,
especially the poor like me.

"I am proud to say that what I have achieved today was the result of
Sabah's independence through Malaysia," said Abdul Rahim, who hails
from Kampung Buang Sayang, Papar.


Abdul Rahim who is currently the Chairman of the Fisheries Development
Authority (LKIM) pointed out that Sabah has undergone tremendous
transformation in terms of physical infrastructure and socio-economic
development since joining the federation.

"But the real transformation as far as Sabah is concerned is
undoubtedly after the Barisan Nasional (BN) took charge of the state,
where the Federal-State government working relationship improved
tremendously," he said.

"While Malaysians truly benefited from their new found freedom, some
countries were unfortunate because they were still troubled by
internal conflicts that led to bloodshed and civil wars even after

"I think we should never forget to tell our children and future
generation on the importance of appreciating our country's
independence," he said.

In echoing Abdul Rahim's views, Zaiton OKK Anik agreed that since
gaining independence through Malaysia 47 years ago Sabah has
practically transformed from an economic backwater into a vibrant,
united and progressive state.

"Now people can move freely and conveniently from one place to another
because of the availability of good road network throughout the state.

"You will also notice that even some remote areas in Sabah are now
provided with electricity, water supply, clinics and schools," the 59-
year former teacher said.

Zaiton, who attended secondary school in Keningau, said she was
particularly proud of Sabah's transformation in the field of
education, especially with the mushrooming of public and private
institutions of higher learning in the state.

"30 years ago or so, it was very costly for Sabahans to pursue studies
at universities in Peninsular due to many factors, including distance,
cost of air flights and accommodation," says Zaiton.

"But Sabah students now have the opportunity to pursue their studies
at local universities without having to go overseas," she said

Zaiton also believes that Sabah's rapid socio-economic development
under Malaysia is due to the sound management of its vast resources by
past and present leaders, especially under the BN government.

"In short, Sabah through the goodwill of state and federal leaders has
indeed gained a lot in terms of socio-economic development since
gaining independence and the people now enjoying better standard of


A young lawyer, Azman Ruslan, feels fortunate to learn of the
experiences of his parents who have lived during and after the
colonial era.

"It is even more fortunate for people of my generation because we have
everything on a silver platter as a result of the selfless struggles
of our past and present leaders.

"I therefore believe that we should not only play a role in
safeguarding the sovereignty of our nation but also teach the future
generation about the meaning and importance of independence," says
Azman, who was born in August, 1970.

Azman, who is also Sabah Umno Youth head, said it was therefore
imperative for the future generation to remember the history of our
country's independence as 'colonialisation' could repeat in different

While appreciative of Sabah's tremendous socio-economic achievement
under Malaysia, Jasni Matlani, a writer and head of the Badan Bahasa
Sabah (BAHASA), believes the struggle must continue in safeguarding
our sovereignty.

"Therefore I suggest that any form of activities that involve youths
must include programmes that inculcate the history of our nation's
independence as well as paying tribute to those who struggled for

"We also urge the government to consider setting up a special
allocation for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), especially the
literary and cultural bodies, to conduct youth programmes that create
awareness," he said.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Apin, a quantity surveyor, says those who have
inherited the colonialists' era robust thinking must consider
themselves lucky.

"We find that life in the challenging 21st century actually calls for
the rigid and disciplined leadership of the colonial era," he said.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Justifications against Coal Power Plant for Sabah

This is a well researched article giving the justifications why Coal
Power Plant is extremely destructive to Sabah.

It is not just bad, but very destructive. Nature, Ecotourism is all
that Sabah has after Oil and Gas revenue had been taken away from
Sabah. Now they even want to deny Gas and Oil for Sabah's own

Preferring to import coal at huge costs and subsidies while spending
billions to build such an expensive Coal Power Plant. Gas power plant,
like that in Sepanggar bay is much cheaper, faster to build and easier
to power using Gas because Gas is already in Sabah, unlike Coal.

There is only one reason for the continuance of the Coal power plant.
To suck Sabah dry while ignoring the needs of Sabahans and its future.
It is a worst disaster than the loss of the Oil revenue and Labuan. At
these these losses do not affect our long term survival but Coal power
plant will destroy our future and quality of life.

Malaysia preparing to take big step backward on energy policy
Commentary by Cynthia Clare Ong Gaik Suan
August 13, 2010

An open letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Dear Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak,

I write to you as a deeply concerned and saddened citizen of Malaysia.
For most of the 45 years of my life, I have been proud to be
Malaysian. Recently, I have become heartbroken to be Malaysian.

I am profoundly grateful to write this with the support of both my
local communities in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and California, U.S.A.,
and a larger world community. That said, I take full ownership of and
sole responsibility for the views articulated in this letter; I
express them from my stand as a mother, an earth citizen and a leader.

I founded and lead a public charity and non profit organization both
in Malaysia and in the U.S., to bridge between worlds and build
partnerships for ecological conservation. I have been at the front
lines of the founding and mobilization of Green SURF (Sabah Unite to
RePower the Future), the civil society movement opposing the
construction of the 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu,
Sabah, on the edge of the Coral Triangle, one of three of the world's
most bio-diverse ecosystems. You know. You signed the 6-nation
declaration between Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New
Guinea, East Timor and Solomon Islands to collectively protect this
1.6 billion acres of ocean. You also know of course of your pledge at
Copenhagen to reduce carbon emission intensity by up to 40% by 2020.
You likely also know that the plant will displace fishing communities
who have been there for a long time - irreparably contaminating their
livelihoods forever. And if you listened, you would also know that
they do not want the "development" that your government is imposing on

Tun Sakaran Marine Park , made up of pristine islands and marine
waters, lies off the coast of Semporna less than 100 kilometers from
the coal plant. Photo by: Yee I-Lann.

One of the priorities of Green SURF was to study clean energy
alternatives to the coal-plant, and propose them to the government. We
collectively invested tremendous time and resources to identify and
commission the expertise of Professor Daniel Kammen at Renewable and
Appropriate Energy Laboratory of University of California, Berkeley to
conduct the Clean Energy Options for Sabah report. We had no notion of
the outcome of the study, and results showed that Sabah is in an
exceptional position to shift towards clean energy due to the
availability of natural resources. We are in fact in an opportune
position to lead the nation and the region in clean energy - the kind
of leadership the world so urgently needs now. I wonder if you know
that Sabah is the last coal power-free frontier of Borneo. FYI, the 5
core NGOs in Green SURF are amongst the largest, oldest and most
recognized conservation groups in Sabah and Malaysia - collectively
responsible for most of the conservation work in the nation, with
partnerships that span the world.

We have tried every avenue available to communicate to you the results
of our findings and to engage in discussion about the future of energy
for Sabah. After months of unsuccessful attempts to meet with you, I
can only conclude that you do not want to meet with us. This confuses
and disturbs me. Your words in public are about listening to the
rakyat (people) and hearing their views. A sizeable portion of the
rakyat of Sabah has been doing everything within their power to be
heard by you. To no avail. We have given you the benefit of the doubt
that word is not getting to you, and yet we have met with those around
you who promised they would convey our message to you. Many months,
memos, reports, letters, faxes, emails and phone calls later, and we
have not received a single response from you or any member of your
administration. We also did our best at state level government, and
have huge support from within the government but ultimately the
message is that this is untouchable because "ini Najib mau" (Najib
wants this).

Sir, my most consistent experience of your administration is stone
walls, arrogance and insincerity. I am shocked by the behavior of the
leadership of my nation. I find it patronizing, archaic, oppressive,
blatantly and self-righteously elitist and top-down. I do not
experience your administration as democratic, transparent, open,
accountable or responsible. There is a deep incongruence between what
you are projecting externally and what we have experienced internally.
I can only surmise that you intentionally run your administration in
this manner. Otherwise, it would mean that your leadership is
incompetent and ineffective.

I am angry, and I am not willing to accept systemic disempowerment of
our people. I am writing this open letter as a last resort. Sabahans
are speaking up because we are deeply troubled and scared about the
fate of our ecological and cultural legacy, and what we will be able
to hand down to our future generations. Please show true leadership
and listen. You and your administration have much to do to regain a
modicum of respect amongst many Sabahans. If 1Malaysia is more than a
PR campaign and is truly intended "to provide a free and open forum to
discuss the things that matter deeply to us as a Nation", please walk
your talk.

The coal plant will be built on the northern edge of Lahad Datu Bay.
Photo by: Cede Prudente.

The circle denotes the coal plant. Tabin Wildlife Reserve is to the
west, Semporna (Tun Sakaran Marine Park) is to the south. Map courtesy
of Green SURF.

Map shows Sabah's place in the coral triangle. Map courtesy of Green

Comments (1)

Related articles

Photos reveal paradise-like site for coal plant in Borneo

(05/21/2010) With the world's eyes on the environmental catastrophe in
the Gulf of Mexico, many are beginning to ponder the rightness of not
just America's, but the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Yet large-
scale fossil-fuel energy projects continue to march ahead, including
one in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo to build a 300 MW coal
plant, which has come under fierce opposition from locals (already the
project has been forced to move locations twice). The newest proposal
will build the coal plant, as photos below reveal, on an undeveloped
beach overlooking the Coral Triangle, one of the world's most
biodiverse marine environments, with transmission lines likely running
through nearby pristine rainforest that are home to several endangered
species, including orangutans and Bornean rhinos.

Fishermen express doubts about coal plant overlooking their fishing

(06/13/2010) Local fishermen in the Malaysian state of Sabah are
uncertain of their future, if the government pushes ahead to build a
300 megawatt coal power plant. They have been told they will be moved
from their current seaside village to one deeper inland, and while the
coal plant will provide manual labor work in its building stages, the
fishermen express doubt about the impacts over the long-term effects
of the coal plant on their livelihood. "Someone mentioned that maybe
we have to move to Sungai Merah, which is quite far from our village.
We are also worried because Sungai Merah is not next to the sea like
[our village] is," local fishermen, Ali Hia, told Green SURF and Save
Sandakan members—two local organizations opposed to the coal plant—who
recently visited the seaside village of Kampung Sinakut, site of the
proposed coal plant.

Analysis shows Borneo can say 'no' to coal power

(03/17/2010) Plans for a coal power plant in the Malaysian state of
Sabah in northern Borneo have run into stiff opposition.
Environmentalists say the coal plant could damage extensive coral reef
systems, pollute water supplies, open rainforests to mining, and
contribute to global climate change, undercutting Sabah's image as a
'green' destination. The federal government contends that the coal
plant is necessary to fix Sabah's energy problems. However, a recent
energy audit by the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL)
at the University of California Berkeley shows that pollution-
intensive coal doesn't have to be in Sabah's future.

Coal plant could damage rainforest reserves, coral reefs, palm oil
plantations in Malaysian Borneo

(12/20/2009) A proposed coal-fired power plant in Malaysian Borneo
could damage the region's world-renowned coral reefs, pollute air and
water supplies, open Sabah's biodiverse rainforests to mining, and
undermine the state's effort to promote itself as a destination for
"green" investment and ecotourism, warn environmentalists leading an
effort to block the project. The scheme, which is backed by the
federal Tenaga Nasional Berhad and state energy company, Sabah
Electricity Sdn. Bhd, has faced strong opposition and already been
forced to re-locate twice since it was conceived more than two years
ago. The 300-MW plant is now planned for a coastal area that is
situated in the middle of the Coral Triangle/Sulu Sulawesi Marine
Ecoregion, an area renowned for astounding levels of biodiversity.


This blogspot is filled with Adsense links. These google advertising links can be useful but their uses are strictly governed. I earn cash if any of you click these links but if I or my close acquaintances click them, google is very harsh in permanently banning me. Please do not click these adverts unnecessarily.

Learn how to earn money by clicking the button below: