With the nuclear meltdown in Japan, Malaysia should just go ahead with its nuclear plants project.
Okay, I am saying this tongue-in-cheek.
Why the government is interested in going for nuclear power plants, I do not understand.
We have sufficient power for now and the foreseeable future. In fact, Tenaga Nasional produces excess power to serve the whole nation's needs but is forced by law to buy excess power from the independent power producers (IPP) who sell to Tenaga at some three times the rate per unit of electricity what Tenaga charges us as consumers.
It is estimated that this costs some RM19 billion a year in government subsidy which means in effect what it costs the rakyat. Who gains from this crazy arrangement? Of course the the rakyat, who are relieved from the burden of carrying around an excess RM19 billion a year! Shouldn't the rakyat be grateful, as we are oft reminded to be by a benevolent government. Again, I am only joking. But the estimated annual costs of RM19 billion in subsidy is not a joke.
In the light of the nuclear meltdown in Japan, wouldn't it make more sense to explore alternative forms of power instead of opting for nuclear energy? Malaysia enjoys sunlight throughout the year and we may well consider solar energy for example.
The Bakun dam project in Sarawak which covers an area larger than the city-state of Singapore involving the felling of thousands of acres of virgin forests and the displacement of indigenous people including the Penans from their ancestral lands and costs billions of Ringgit is still not on-line more than a decade later and we are talking of nuclear power plants?
Because public or government projects especially the big ones are not awarded via open tenders the way is open for rip-offs.
I am afraid what will happen with the proposed nuclear power plants project is that the tenders would be awarded to government cronies, friends and families and before the project even got off the ground the costs will skyrocket as usual. But what I am more concerned with is the safety aspect.
We do not have a record of good construction or maintenance.
For example, hardly had the Jalan Duta K.L court complex been open then the canteen flooded because of poor plumbing. Ditto the ceiling of a public hospital waiting area which collapsed .
The roof of the Terengganu Stadium also collapsed hardly a year of its construction.
And need I mention the Middle Ring Road highway which needed repairs and reinforcement works now and then?
What about our august Parliament House itself ? Because of poor maintenance, the roofs constantly leak and needed several repairs and renovations.
So, do we need nuclear power plants bearing in mind that we have a lot of oil, gas, biomass, hydro resources and sunlight?