World Environment Day 2015 Message (e/c)

World Environment Day 2015 Message By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 5 Jun 2015.

Putting People’s Safety And Public Health First, Not Profits By Scrapping The Proposed Building Of Two Nuclear-Power Generating Plants In Malaysia.

This morning, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Ranau district in Sabah. Fortunately there were no casualties reported so far, only property and infrastructure damage. Malaysia is no longer a zero earthquake country. This has wide implications for the proposed 2 nuclear-power generating plants by the BN Federal government.

We remember clearly the disaster of the destruction of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 13.3.2011. For Malaysia to continue to build nuclear power plants when they do not have the expertise is foolhardy. But the earthquake in Sabah takes away another argument by BN that a Fukushima like nuclear disaster would not occur in Malaysia because Malaysia is an earthquake-free country.

The WED theme this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depends upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. And yet, evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.

While many advanced economies are looking into renewable energy, we do not understand the justifications behind the BN Federal government in pressing ahead with building two nuclear-powered generating plants, even though Malaysia has a healthy power reserve margin of more than 30%.

Malaysia should celebrate World Environment Day by putting people and public health first, not profits first by scrapping the proposed two nuclear-power generating plants. In the Economic Transformation Programme’s report in 2010, it is estimated that Malaysia could spend about RM21.3 billion for a 2,000 megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant. If the BN government is seriously focusing on renewable energy and people’s welfare, RM42billion wasted on loans for the 1MDB financial scandal should be spent on the R&D for renewable energy.

A people-centric government that is accountable and transparent would never allow these nuclear projects that harms our future and benefit cronies without considering the long-term environmental costs.

Lim Guan Eng

—–Mandarin —