Monday 4 June 2012

PM's 'anti-green economy' approach worries DAP

DAP has slammed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s economic policies as antithetical to a green economy, worrying that profits are being prioritised over public health.

By allowing the operation of two nuclear plants, a rare earth refinery plant and a petrochemical complex, the BN government is pursuing economic development “at the expense of the environment and people’s health”, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in a press release today.

Lim cited the United Nations Environment Programme’s definition of a “green economy” as one that “results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”, saying BN had failed in this.

This is in contrast to Australia, which refused to accept any waste residue from the Lynas rare earth refinery and Germany, which is phasing out its nuclear reactor plants, he added.

Instead, the government has approved the A$800 million (RM2.4 billion) Lynas rare earth refinery, the RM60 billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Pengerang and two nuclear plants costing RM15 billion, he said.

Clearly, BN is “more interested in profits than public good”, the Penang chief minister and Bagan MP said.

In addition, Lim criticised the Renewable Energy Fund as “inadequate”, saying too few households would benefit from the project and calling on independent power producers (IPPs) to contribute to the fund.

The fund is only RM300 million from the one percent levy on electricity bills exceeding RM77 per months, he explained.

Therefore, with a 1kW installed capacity, only 6,651 households would benefit from the fund.

“What type of solar energy capacity building is Malaysia talking about when only 6,651 households throughout Malaysia are qualified and will benefit only from 2013?” he questioned.

Instead, IPPs should pump in RM1 billion annually into the fund to help develop alternative energy sources, he said.

“After all, if IPPs can benefit nearly RM20 billion from gas subsidies, what is RM1 billion to allow all Malaysians to use solar energy and become a nano-IPP by selling back solar energy generated to TNB?” he asked.

Lim concluded that only Pakatan Rakyat could create a “green legacy” for the nation’s children and grandchildren.

The statement comes a day before World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5 and carries the theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ for 2012.

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