On the 24th of April 2019, #Liberasi Founder and Chief Coordinator, Arveent Srirangan Kathirtchelvan, joined by Dr. Mohd Syukri Yahya from the Malaysian Nuclear Society (MNS) and Datin Zarina Masood from Women In Nuclear Malaysia (WiN) visited the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) to hand over a memorandum entitled ‘Memorandum Supporting Nuclear Power Incorporation in the Malaysian Energy Mix’. The full text of the memorandum can be found here or through the button on the front page of the Liberasi website.

The delegation was received by Mr. Mohd Najeeb Abdullah, the Senior Private Secretary to the MESTECC Minister YBM Yeo Bee Yin, and Dr. Gary Willam Theseira, a Special Functions Officer to the Minister. Prior to the handover of the memorandum, a short discussion was had between both parties, covering a variety of points relevant to the Malaysian energy mix and the viability of nuclear power to be included into it.

Nuc Memo Min.jpg
The Nuclear Power Delegation Handing Over The Memorandum to MESTECC

Whilst it was appreciated for the discussion to be had, Liberasi noted the arguments brought forth by the ministry were either old-fashioned or insufficient to deny nuclear power’s inclusion. Amongst the points to note was the fact that there is a gap between expert knowledge and public awareness. In no uncertain terms, Liberasi stressed that educating the public is a responsibility that must be undertaken and should not be used to reject nuclear power. In this endeavour, Liberasi made it clear that it is willing to help in the efforts to educate the masses if MESTECC is sincere in doing so but even without the ministry’s collaboration, Liberasi will still continue disseminating facts-based information to the masses.

Another point of contention was the impression that there is a waiting period for nuclear power technologies to be, and we quote one of the ministry’s officials, ‘dumber than dumb safe’. With due respect, Liberasi, with Dr. Syukri and Datin Zarina, disagreed as nuclear power is already the safest amongst all electricity generating technologies. It was pointed out that, all things considered, per 1000 terawatt hour (TWh), nuclear power results in 90 deaths whereas solar power results in over 400. MESTECC was also advised to not champion technologies that result in more deaths overall to avoid catastrophes for which safety measures are already plentiful.

One of the officials then asked Datin Zarina about Malaysia’s workforce readiness to undertake nuclear power plants. Datin Zarina, who has more than 30 years of experience in the field, replied that Malaysian experts are world-renown and many international organisations either come to Malaysia to learn from them or invite these experts overseas to train them in multiple aspects of nuclear power. It was also shared that Malaysia is considered exemplary in having the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) and that going into nuclear power would be with our eyes open.

On the subject of whether nuclear power is to be phased out, MESTECC shared that all options are still on the table. However, Liberasi notes that there are many instances where YBM Yeo Bee Yin has stated that there is an intention to close the MNPC. If this is true, it will effectively kill the chances of nuclear power being in the energy mix for Malaysia as 11 years of expertise will be lost, especially since the MNPC has done a lot of preliminary work that exemplifies Malaysia for nuclear power. Moreover, the fate of local nuclear engineering students is also in question as this move might kill an industry they are passionate about.

Arveent, Dr. Syukri and Datin Zarina concluded that nuclear power is the safest and most environmentally friendly technology even compared to renewable power. In fact, it was mentioned that should the public be well educated on the disadvantages of solar photovoltaics, from huge land use to resource depletion and toxicity, they will be more understanding of nuclear power as a viable source of electricity. In fact, other activities such as desalination of sea water and industrial heating can be performed through utilising nuclear power plants as well.

Despite this, it was noted that the resolve MESTECC has shown with regards to lowering plastic usage, championing energy efficiency and handling the Sungai Kim-Kim issue recently was duly appreciated. Hence, Liberasi assured MESTECC that it respected MESTECC as an organisation that values scientific facts and will base their direction on them. It is hoped that MESTECC would see sense and return nuclear power into the conversation of being a part of the Malaysian energy mix.

Outside of the ministry, however, Liberasi resolves to champion nuclear power as a civil movement. Liberasi has planned to call a roundtable to invite nuclear power proponents to gather and do advocacy work through multiple streams. In fact, on his own initiative, Arveent has approached the Parti Sosialis Malaysia and handed over copies of the memorandum to continue his advocacy on that front as well, as the barriers to nuclear power adoption are mainly political. It is hoped that this advocacy work will bear fruit soon.

Nuc Memo PSM.jpg
Arveent Kathirtchelvan Handing Over The Memorandum to PSM Honorary Treasurer, Soh Sook Hwa

Says Arveent, “I’d like to encourage the rakyat to please not hesitate to contact us if you would like to be part of our struggle. We could always use more boots on the ground in combating unfair negative perception on nuclear power and pave the way to a better, more sustainable, more reliable energy future for Malaysia.”

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9 thoughts on “#Liberasi: Memorandum Supporting Nuclear Power

  1. Firstly, there is nothing socialist about nuclear power or any power source, even though former socialist countries and the few remaining ones have had or currently have nuclear power facilities.

    Your arguments in favour of nuclear power are similar to those of various scientific and technological interest groups which lobby for their technology or interest to be adopted over competing technologies, which are totally bourgeois endeavours, whilst socialists or even social-democrats or just concerned humanitarians would put the interests of people first, rather than LCOE per MWhr and the efficiency of energy production, which are totally neoliberal considerations.

    Secondly, whilst I don’t dispute the statistics you have provided which show that nuclear power has resulted in 90 deaths per TWhr, whilst solar power has resulted in 400 deaths per TWhr, however, you have not explained what most of these deaths were due to and whether stronger regulations which are diligently enforced as well as improved industry best practices would help reduce such number of deaths.

    Towards the end of NextBIGFuture article, the majority of deaths due to solar panels are due to deaths of rooftop solar panel installers and maintainers falling from heights and not due to the solar panels or materials used and this is a risk which all rooftop workers face and that there were 1,000 construction related deaths in the US alone, of which 33% were due to working at heights.

    Towards the bottom of the article, it includes a table which shows roofers as the 6th most dangerous jobs in the US at 37 fatalities per 100,000, after timber cutters (117.8 deaths per 100,000), fishers (71.1), pilots and navigators (69.8), structural metal workers (58.2) and drivers-sales workers (37.9). Roofers are followed by electrical power installers, also solar power related (32.5 deaths per 100,000), farm occupations (28), contruction labourers (27.7) and truck drivers (25). So it’s safer to drive a truck than a salesperson driving a car.

    The article points out that apart from deaths from accidents related to mining of coals and extraction of crude oil, deaths from coal are due to particulates burning coal gives off and deaths from oil are related to the pollutants given off and these are very much higher than rooftop solar, wind, hydro and nuclear, whilst deaths from natural gas is the lowest amongst fossil fuels, even lower than biofuels and biomass.

    The intresting statistics about deaths per TWhr from coal which averages 161 deaths per TWhr from coal pollution worldwide, is that it varies from 15 deaths per TWhr in the U.S. to 278 deaths per TWhr in China, both from coal pollution, which raises questions as to the differences in regulations, how strictky they are enforced, the coal buring equipment used, how well they are maintained and perhaps the types of coal burnt in these two countries respectively.

    China’s government acknowledges this problem and is trying hard to reduce their dependence of coal, which is abundant in China and on oil, which is mostly imported by developing and deploying wind and solar power. This also is a matter of improving China’s energy security.

    China generate more electricty from wind than solar and China is developing electricity generation facilities based upon wind and solar as part of its efforts to reduce its reliance on coal as an energy source, and all the best to them.

    As for deaths from nuclear energy, the article mentions that deaths from nuclear power are partly due to deaths related to the prodution of the steel and concrete used in their construction, which is true of other power generation facilities.

    As for deaths due to the Chernobyl meltdown, the article says:-

    “The World Health Organization study in 2005 indicated that 50 people died to that point as a direct result of Chernobyl. 4000 people may eventually die earlier as a result of Chernobyl, but those deaths would be more than 20 years after the fact and the cause and effect becomes more tenuous.”

    “He explains that there have been 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children, but that except for nine deaths, all of them have recovered. “Otherwise, the team of international experts found no evidence for any increases in the incidence of leukemia and cancer among affected residents.”

    As I said at the PSM forum – Do we really need nuclear power – that nuclear power plants and stored nuclear waste may not cause any problems as long as nothing happens but once a disaster strikes or there is leakage of stored nuclear waste into into the atmosphere, soil and water resources, the ill effects can be very long lasting and the above experience of Chernobyl proves that.

    The article concludes that non-rooftop solar panel installations are much safer than rooftop installations and goes on to recommend improved methods of rooftop installations to reduce fatalities.

    “Nothing is perfectly safe. Chasing perfection can cause us to ignore just improving and trading worse for a lot better. Non-roof installations of solar is safer than roof installation. Nuclear, wind, non-roof solar and hydro are a lot safer than coal and oil. Natural gas is safer but not as much as nuclear and those others. The focus needs to be on getting rid of the most dangerous energy sources which are coal and oil first. Then after that decades long project is done to look at the other energy sources. Safety and improvements for all energy sources should be made as we go.”

    “UPDATE:
    “Rooftop solar is still a hundred times safer than coal and oil power because of air pollution deaths. Other ways to make solar power safer:”
    “1. Increase safety for all rooftop work (can reduce deaths by half or more)”
    “2. Rooftop solar tiles installed on new buildings might not have any more incremental deaths as opposed to panels that are separate from the roof tiles or systems installed that replace roof tiles before they would normally be replaced.
    “3. Create some new installation system where people stay on the ground using some forklift or crane to raise and place a solar power system onto a roof. Have to ensure that the heavy machinery system is safer than the roofing process” being replaced.”

    You can read the full article through the link below.

    “Deaths per TWh for all energy sources: Rooftop solar power is actually more dangerous than Chernobyl”
    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html

    C’mon, any job has its level of danger. For instance when I bought my endowment policy over 30 years ago, I had to pay a higher premium because I was working on servicing a mini-computer, a piece of electrical equipment and was exposed to risk of electrocution, and there were two occasions when I touched live mains in the computer with my finger and got a nasty shock but survived to tell the tale, thanks to my shoes which provided some insulation and that my other hand was not touching anything, especially not the metal frame of the computer or I could very likely have died.

    I run the risk of getting run over by a car each time I cross the main road near my house to the mini market and the roofers – mostly foreign workers – who place or repair tiles on the roofs of house run the risk of falling off and being injured or killed. Heck! working as a housemaid is a dangerous occupation in Malaysia, where employers who cause their death are let off lightly as has happened recently.

    Anyway, the bottom line in these deaths per TWhr figures by energy source are not all due to the energy source itself but rather to deaths due to factors in their construction, instalation and transportation which can be minimised by more stringent regulations which are properly enforced. However, with the slipshod enforcement common in Malaysia, the capitalists get away with exposing their workers to greater risks and dangers than they should to save costs, and this should be the concern of genuine socialists, social democrats, the unions and humanitarians.

    As for Malaysia adopting nuclear power, if Mahathir and YB Yeo Bee Yin are against nuclear power, you may want to wait until Barisan Nasional is back in power again and perhaps you can convince them to adopt nuclear power, and with the way the Pakatan government is running the country right now, especially the economy, you may not have to wait longer than GE15 or sooner if a snap election is held after Mahathir steps down as prime minister after two years as promised.

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  2. Thanks for publishing my earlier comment to your article.

    To add, firstly you should make a copy of your memorandum available for the pubic to download.

    Secondly, one of your arguments in favour of nuclear energy is that it does not emit carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas in the process of its electricity generation, hence does not contribute to global warming.

    According to this Wikipedia entry, including the table and chart further down the article, water vapor and clouds directly contribute between 36-72% to the greenhouse effect, though its residence time in the atmosphere is about nine days, whilst carbon dioxide contributes between 9-26% to the greenhouse effect whilst its atmospheric lifetime is estimated to be between 30-95 years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    Well nobody is suggesting that we ban water vapour and clouds, if that is possible, however the long atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide compared to water vapour and clouds, hence the concern over the rate of which carbon dioxide being added to the environment.

    However, there are several opinions today, including some by environmental scientists, who debunk the notion that the level or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to temperature increases, and these cycles of increases and decreases have been observed over a long period and are due to other natural factors such as solar activity, under water hotsprings and so forth.

    One of them is the co-founder of Greenpeace himself – Dr. Patrick Moore who quit Greenpeace because he feels that the movement he co-founded in British Columbia, Canada, has been hijacked by political interests, most of whom are non-scientific people.

    For instance, a prominent environmentalist, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, is not a scientist, though he was an avid reader of scientific and mathematical theories but did not do well in science classes and avoided doing maths.

    You can read more about Al Gore’s education and qualifications on Wikipedia over here:-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore

    Dr. Patrick Moore objects to current Greenpeace environmentalists, who are so extreme about their environmentalism that they have come to regard humans as “the enemy of the environment and ecology” or something to that effect, hence have deviated from the original humanitarian objectives Greenpeace. Like you, Dr. Moore favours nuclear power and argues that it’s safe but at the same time he disagrees with the popular notion that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to causing global warming, which if true, pulls the rug from under the feet of the major benefit of nuclear power as a non-carbon emitting energy source, which is behind your argument in favour of nuclear power.

    Here are some videos about Dr. Patrick Moore, Greenpeace and the issue of climate change:-

    Here Dr. Moore speaks about sensible environmentalism, where he takes a pragmatic view on issues such as geneticly-modified foods as being beneficial, especially in poor countries.

    “Patrick Moore – The Sensible Environmentalist”

    “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout – Dr Patrick Moore”

    Here Dr. Moore argues that carbon dioxide has been essential of life itself and that the level of CO2 has declined since long ago.

    “Dr. Patrick Moore – A Dearth of Carbon?”

    Here Dr. Moore debunks popular Canadian ecologist David Suzuki

    “Greenpeace founder slams David Suzuki”

    On nuclear power and clean renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal, Dr Moore, a Canadian regards its importance in terms of energy security.

    Here are some interesting facts:-

    According to Natural Resources Canada, 66% of Canada’s electricity comes from renewable sources (59% from hydro and 7% from non-hydro renewables), 15% from nuclear, 10% grom gasoline, oil and others, and 9% from coal.

    Also Canada exports 11% of its electricity to the United States.
    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/facts/electricity/20068

    On the other hand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:- “About 63% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases). About 20% was from nuclear energy, and about 17% was from renewable energy sources. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that an additional 30 billion kWh of electricity generation was from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems in 2018”

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

    So, in terms of primary energy sources for electricity generation, Canada’s use of renewables (including hydro) of electricity generation is more or less the inverse of that in the U.S. and the above figures would strongly suggest that the U.S. great reliance on fossil fuels for its electricity generation is a reason why it has been engaged in ongoing wars, proxy or direct for domination of energy resources in the Middle East, compared to Canada, which has generally been non-predatory abroad.

    However, in the bigger picture of overall energy consumption, according to a pie chart of overall U.S. energy consumption in 2018, 37% was petroleum, 29% natural gas, 14% coal, combined renewables 11% and nuclear 9%. So total combined fossil fuel consumption in the U.S. was 80% that year.

    https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=us_energy_home

    On the other hand, according to Figure ES2, Canada’s total energy by source in 2016 was – 30% oil, 27% gas, 5.7% coal, 27% hydro, 7% nuclear and 3.14% renewables, so 62.7% of Canada’s energy consumption was from fossil fuels.

    https://energyoutlook.ca/chapter-1/

    According to the above set of overall energy consumption figures, combined U.S. consumption of oil + gas was 66%, whilst Canada’s was 57%, which is much less drastic a difference between the two countries,though the almost 66% reliance on oil and gas for ebergy in the U.S., explains its aggressive, predatory, imperialistic nature in the Middle East, Latin America and elsewhere, whilst Canada’s relative pacificism despite oil & gas cmprisng 57% of its energy consumption, suggests other reasons behind the predatory, imperialist nature of advanced capitalist countries.

    Well, as Lenin pointed out in Imperialism – The Highest Stage of Capitalism, imperialist wars and aggression are driven by the tendency of finance capital to want to expand beyond its nationa borders, and U.S. finance capital is dominant worldwide, whilst Canada’s is not.

    However, at the same time, whilst finance capital is primary driver of imperialist aggression, however one cannot ignore secondary factors such as demand for control of natural resources such as oil and gas.

    Thus, short of socialism, the capitalist world may be a more peaceful place if countries are more self-reliant on their energy (and other) resources.

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  3. Thanks for posting a softcopy of your Memorandum and the link to the 2017 Malaysia Energy Statistics Handbook. I’ve downloaded them both.

    42.5% of electricity generated using coal is a pretty big proportion for a country like Malaysia.

    However, do we have statistics on how much risk or damage to public health particulate emissions coal fired power stations in Malaysia cause?

    As I mentioned in your Do we really need Nuclear Power forum, the main concerns with health which I have had here in the Klang Valley has been prolongged thick haze from burning of forests or old plantations in Indonesia which has blanketed the central and southern part of Peninsular Malaysia around August and September of previous years, with it being especially bad in August/September 1997, in July and August 2004 when it was so bad that I was coughing sputum and in October 2015. We have also had some brief instances of haze due to occasional peat fires in Selangor. Whilst Malaysia can deal with peat fires, we haven’t been able to do much to convince Indonesia to deal with the fires over there, whilst we suffer the consequences carried over here by the winds.

    Also, exhaust fumes from traffic is also a concern but these toxins are less visible.

    However, I have not experienced, nor know of case of haze in Malaysia from emissions from coal-fired electricity power stations, so apart from your belief that CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants contribute to global warming, are emissions from these coal-fired these power plants causing all that much damage to human health in Malaysia?

    Though still a fossil fuel, LNG (liquefied natural gas) is much cleaner than oil or coal, and so is the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)from my kitchen gas cylinder, so would Malaysia replacing coal-fired power plants with LNG powered ones be a practical first step towards a cleaner Malaysia?

    Anyway, even if Malaysia adopts nuclear power as #Liberasi advocates, will Malaysia be willing to go so far as to mandate that all road and rail vehicles sold after a certain date must be electric only, and will there be enough fast-charging stations for drivers of electric vehicles to top up whilst away from home?

    Also, electric vehicles have large Li-Ion batteries, which will pose similar problems you say will arise from proposed storage batteries used as backup for wind and solar power systems at night or when there is not enouh wind?

    Quite frankly, whatever solution you turn to tends to create new problems which need to be solved.

    Back in the 1980s, Malaysia promoted LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as a “beautiful fuel” for private cars and commercial vehicles but left the choice of petrol or gas powered vehicle to the owners -i.e. market forces, and as a result, owners and petrol station operators were caught in a chicken and egg dilemma whereby if there were not enough LPG powered cars, not enough petrol station owners would install LPG refilling facilities and if there were not enough LPG filling facilities, not enough vehicle owners would convert or buy LPG powered cars. Just look at the long queues at the limited number of petrol stations with LPG filling facilities, where long lines of dual petrol/LPG powered taxis line up to refill their LPG tank.

    This vicious cycle could have been broken if the government had the political will to mandate that all new cars sold after a certian date would have to be LPG powered, which would have justified more petrol stations to install LPG refilling facilities and by now, most road vehicles would be gas powered and old petrol powered ones phase out naturally.

    Thus, I see problems, not only in Malaysia, of all-electric vehicles being widely accepted, except perhaps in China, where the government can mandate that all vehicles sold after a certain date will have to be electric-powered.

    With regards Item 4.4:-

    “The Malaysian economy is too reliant on fossil fuels. While this comprises of a larger set of uses for them, such as a variety of petroleum-based products including plastics and various petrochemicals, usage in terms of power consumption contributes greatly to the fluctuations in the pricing of goods. Moreover, other aspects of the Malaysian economy are susceptible to risks introduced by global sentiments. Palm oil, for example, has been shown to be vulnerable to global sentiments against deforestation, especially in Europe, which drives down the price of not just raw palm oil but other
    oleochemicals as well. Malaysian rubber prices seem to be similarly depressed.”

    I’d say that the fact that the strength or weakness of the ringgit versus the U.S. dollar and other currencies had been somewhat linked to the price of Brent Crude which Malaysia extracts and sells, is an indication of how dependent Malaysia’s capitalist economy has been on Malaysia’s oil revenue, where the price of oil is denominated in U.S. dollars and when the price of Brent Crude was down at around US$30 – 40 per barrel, and at its weakest the ringgit was almost at RM4.50 to the US dollar, whish has its impact on the cost of goods on the shelves, not only the price of imported goods but also domestically produced or assembled goods with high levels of imported inputs in their manufacture.

    On the other hand, Malaysian companies which mostly export their goods to overseas customers love it whe the ringgit is weak, since they quote in US dollars which converts to more ringgit. This is why the share prices of medical glove exporters listed on Bursa Malaysia rose as the ringgit weakened, since they declare their revenue and profits in ringgit and the more ringgit, the merrier for them and their share holders.

    Well, finance capital certainly is parasitic, where idle people make money from speculating on the movement of share prices and buying and selling these shares at what they believe is the right time.

    However, more recently, I have observed that the strength of the ringgit versus the US dollar tends to be in inverse correlation to the strength of the US dollar on the US Dollar Currency Index (DXY).

    https://www.tradingview.com/symbols/TVC-DXY/

    However, that inverse correlation appears to have decoupled too, as the ringgit recently weakened to RM4.14 to the US dollar as of right now.

    https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=MYR&view=1Y

    Meanwhile the price of Brent crude has been falling in the past two weeks and has recovered a bit today.

    http://www.oil-price.net/

    With regards the second paragraph:-

    “In this instance, one must look to diversify the nation’s sources of revenue. While the previous Barisan Nasional administration showed widening of the tax base by introducing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, it also sought to developing nuclear power another fuel source. It must be understood that nuclear power doesn’t just bring with it large power plants that pump out electricity. There is also a great deal of research, development and practice to be done in many associated fields. New reactor technology, for example, is a field that Malaysian scientists can work on to produce better designed reactors that are not only cheaper but safer and less polluting as well. Waste management is another multifaceted area Malaysia can explore to develop and even base an income from.”

    Looks like you might have a friend in Barisan Nasional and the opposition from the current Pakatan Harapan government under Mahathir to nuclear power may be due to a case of of opposition to what the policies of the previous BN government under Najib, and the danger here is you may get Malaysia to embrace nuclear power if BN wins power again, only to have it overturned if Pakatan Harapan wins power after that.

    In fact, even changes in BN prime minsiters in the past, saw shifts in emphasis in national projects. For instance the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia), the national car (Proton) and the crooked bridge were top priorities under the first term of Mahathir’s prime minsitership. Abdullah Badawi became a “half past six” prime minister when he cancelled the crooked bridge and under Najib, Malaysia shifted its focus away from MSC Malaysia towards the Iskandar project in Johor and Najib created the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) under the Prime Minister’s Office which developed a more holistic development strategy across 13 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), with MSC Malaysia somewhat taking a back seat.

    And, now that Mahathir is back in power, emphasis has been shifted back to MSC Malaysia, 3rd national car, crooked bridge and so forth.

    With this kind of ding-dong flip-flopping, you could find successive governments or prime ministers flip-flopping in favour of and against nuclear power.

    Moving on, the introduction of the GST is believed to have been in response to falling oil revenues at time, though an anti-BN person said at thetime, that Malaysia had to borrow money to honour payment of bonds and debentures which had matured and the lending agency told the Malaysian government under Najib that Malaysia had to implement GST as a condition for the loan. Don’t know how true this is but that’s what I was told.

    Anyway, some people now feel that prices have instead gone up with the replacement of the GST with the SST. For instance a friend of mine who has a small medical gloves packing and marketing business had to raise the prices of his gloves because of the 10% SST levied on medical gloves, which under Customs Malaysia classification are rubber products, which are subject to 10% GST, whilst condoms which are clasified as pharmaceutical products are exempt.

    The PSM led a protest against the GST at the Customs Malaysia office in Kelana Jaya in March 2015, just before it came into effect on 1 April 2015, though I wonder what the party thinks of the GST protests today, considering that its abolishment and replacement with the SST has not seen the price of goods come down.

    https://says.com/my/news/the-full-story-behind-the-anti-gst-protest-that-got-83-people-arrested

    As described above, whilst the inroduction of the GST did result in the prices of good on the shelves going up by 6%, however I believe that there were many other factors behind prices which had been rising even before the introduction of the GST, and these include the exchange rate of the ringgit versus the US dollar, which was at around RM3.69 to the US dollar at the time and in the middle of a downtrend which bottomed at RM4.4975 to the US dollar on 5 January 2017, after which it slowly strengthened to RM4.143 to the US dollar today.

    https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=MYR&view=5Y

    Heck! a large oval can of Ayam brand sardines costs RM10 in my neighbourhood KK convenience store which a regular sized can of Yeos or otherbrand sardines costs around RM7.50, when back in the 1980s, it used to cost RM3.50.

    Quite frankly for me, issues of high prices, high cost of living, unaffordable housing, rampant high-rise building being allowed by in Petaling Jaya and Selangor, potholed and uneven roads and other local issues are of greaterconcern than whether or not Malaysia should adopt nuclear-electric power generation and various surveys have shown that matters of economic survival are priority issues amongst most respondents.

    However, I tend to agree with people such as Dr. Patrick Moore, that many environmentalists and environmental groups today, especially in the west, and I will add environmentalist groups in Malaysia, which are funded by western sources, tend to advocate against people in developing countries being able to enjoy a better standard of living and some of the conveniences in life which people in the west take for granted.

    This is why I am cautious about agreeing with the various NGOs, including seemingly “progressive”, ecological or even “leftist” ones, which accept funds from foreign sources and oppose measures which will benefit Malaysia and the Malaysian people – actions which serve the respective agendas of their funders.

    For instance, this short video clip which appeared shortly after GE14, led me to say that it looks like U.S. imperialism won GE14.

    Let me leave you with American Marxist-Leninist Caleb Maupin, who believes that global warming and climate change are real, yet shares Dr. Patrick Moore’s opinion that many of today’s environmentalists tend to be anti-human and are condescending towards people.

    “Green New Deal? Yes! Look to China, Reject Anti-Humanism”

    From what I have observed from Caleb’s other videos, I believe that he could be a supporter or a member of a small, Chicago-based leftist group – the League of Revolutionaries for a New America – http://www.lrna.org

    The LRNA does not say much about nuclear power except for this one paragraph which I found in an article on its publication Rally Comrades, which reveals that the party is against nuclear power, as well as fossil fuels and instead strongly favours renewables such as wind and solar, which it believes can provide real solutions under socialism or what it calls a “cooperative society”.

    “To avoid the necessity of reducing emissions and thus hindering capitalist expansion, so-called “bridge fuels” are being pushed. Counted among these fuels is nuclear power and natural gas, including gas gained through fracking, which, in addition to safety and health considerations, lets off the greenhouse gas methane. The capitalists argue that these fuels can be used as an alternative to dirty energy until renewable energy is a significant reality. But in fact, these energy sources are really serving as the capitalists’ alternatives to renewable energies themselves.”

    http://rallycomrades.lrna.org/2015/03/fight-planet-fight-people/

    Here’s another article along similar lines.

    “Save Humanity, Save the Earth”
    http://rallycomrades.lrna.org/2012/07/save-humanity-save-the-earth/

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  4. Correction:-
    “Thus, I see problems, not only in Malaysia, of all-electric vehicles NOT being widely accepted,”

    Mistake regretted.

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  5. You may not like the idea of burning trash (including plastic waste) for electricity but Singapore does it and ensures that it scrubs the emissions before they leave the chimney. For those who do not believe that CO2 cause global warming, burning at hight temperatures of 1,000 degrees C in a professional, well managed and monitored manner is a solution for a cleaner world.

    Sweden also has several incinerators which burn trash at 900 degrees C to generate electricity and heat water used for heating homes.

    This is something Yeo Bee Yin should consider for trash disposal in Malaysia, since according to Greenpeace, only 9% of plastic produced in 2015 was recycled, 12% burnt and 79% ended up in landfill.
    Well, it’s known that a minority of plastic waste can be recycled, whilst the rest cannot.
    As for warming, have you considered that urban areas which are concrete jungles are heat islands which absorb and retain heat, thus making the atmosphere hot.
    I’ve mentioned this issue in my Selangor Scheiss blog.
    http://selangorscheiss.blogspot.com/2019/05/a-mere-token-gestures-to-protect.html

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  6. Further on the contention that global warming is a propagandistic myth, here you can listen to a SoundCloud commentary by Dr. F. William Engdahl, where he debunks the notion of climate change and the role of CO2 as a “greenhouse gas”:-

    “We discuss his article, The Dark Story Behind Global Warming also known as Climate Change and his book, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars; the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, draconian recommendations based on computer models; neuro-linguistic programming; the Global Warming Petition Project signed by 31,000 scientists; climate and the sun’s activity; analysis of the IPCC climate report; history of the climate change/global warming movement; motives of the Rockefeller NGOs and Maurice Strong in promoting environmental activism; Agenda 21; the Club of Rome and its Mankind at the Turning Point and Limits to Growth; The 1001: A Nature Trust and the World Wildlife Fund; assumptions of MIT authored computer model study; the Bilderberg Group; mankind blamed for global climate change, not corporate ecological destruction; the Worldwatch Institute; reduction in overall living standards for the public; population reduction; promotion of deindustrialization; peak oil; abiotic oil; shale oil; oil wars.”

    “Aired: November 7, 2018”

    If climate change is a myth, then it pulls the rug from under the argument for nuclear energy as a non-CO2 emitting energy source.

    In this You Tube video interview, Dr. Engdahl reveals how the US came to control the Middle East in order to control the oil market and this bears upon other political developments we see in the world today.

    F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL ~ “Gods Of Money & Climate Change Hoax”

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  7. It looks like Zuraida is into waste-to-energy – i.e. burning waste to produce energy, instead of dumping waste into landfills.

    https://www.malaymail.com/news/what-you-think/2019/05/12/support-zuraidas-waste-to-energy-plans-sharifah-danisah-syed-ibrahim/1752145

    Support Zuraida’s waste to energy plans — Sharifah Danisah Syed Ibrahim
    Published 20 hours ago on 12 May 2019
    MAY 12 — Nobody talks about garbage until they smell the stink. Malaysia has to act soon or face major problems in the future. When we all throw up because of the smell.
    I wrote two years ago about the use of Waste to Energy (WTE) plants, when government was deciding whether to go with it or not. We cannot wait too long.
    My feeling about the matter became worse when the news from Pasir Gudang chemical dumping and the latest news about the world oceans dying from plastic from 10 rivers, most of the from Asia.
    Malaysia must act and not just react.
    Lessons are down south.
    Jakarta-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro) and Finnish energy company Fortum are rushing to complete their plant. They have to take 2,200 tonnes of the 7,000 tonnes the city produces daily. When operational in 2021 it can produce 35 megawatts per hour (Mwh) of electricity.
    Will Kuala Lumpur wait till we are in a desperate situation before we choose to act?
    Thank god, minister for local government, Zuraida Kamaruddin has been listening and keeping up with the developments. She has come out in support for WTE in Parliament and for other interviews. She mentioned Bukit Payung and Seelong (Johor), Jabi and Samling (Kedah) and Bukit Tagar (Selangor) as potential sites for the plants. It is curious she said Bukit Tagar because it is also where the landfill is. Are we going to see Bukit Tagar landfill turn into a WTE plant?
    WTE is more immediate than other, for three reasons. One, it is cleaner with minimum harm to the environment and uses less space, which landfills cannot compare. Two, proven in over a generation across Europe therefore not experimental. And three, it gives energy.
    There is an additional reason, one landfill proponents don’t want to admit, landfills are meant to be far away from population zones. They are the shame we try to hide. It costs more money to send them there, and the transportation emits pollution. Which also tempts some garbage companies to look for even closer and cheaper illegal solutions, like how we saw in Johor.
    Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, United Kingdom and France rely heavily more on WTEs than landfills, and in many cases landfills are below 2%. It’s countries like Greece, Malta, Slovakia and Bulgaria who rely heavily on landfills. (Eurostat figures for Municipal Waste Treatment in 2017) As Malaysians, whose example to follow, the more advanced and environmentally conscious nations, or struggling nations with low national interest in the environment?
    Of course increasing composting to clear organic waste is best, but it requires a highly organised and disciplined population, along with strong legislation supported by heavy enforcement. While there are massive spikes in Belgium and Germany, overall Europe is producing on average more garbage per capita, over 700kg per person per annum.
    The situation is far worse here in Malaysia. We produce more waste, and it is not going to go down in the medium term.
    While education on reducing, separating waste and personal composting can be put into practice, it will take a lot of time to yield results.
    In the medium run, there has to be cost-efficient and environment-friendly solutions and WTEs are it. The government knows it, but the fear-mongering by several groups relying on ancient stories about first generation incinerators is making politicians worried. These groups fear incinerators but appear to be ignorant about WTEs, or choose to be so.
    This is a situation where government wants to do the right thing, WTEs, but waiting for the right time to do it. The people must back the government on this. Have all the regulations and involvement of all environmental protocols, but get the WTEs going.
    *This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.
    END:

    Also check out my blog post on the topic:-
    A MERE TOKEN GESTURES TO “PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT” AND “SAVE WILDLIFE”
    http://selangorscheiss.blogspot.com/2019/05/a-mere-token-gestures-to-protect.html

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  8. Remember what I and Ir. Gurmit Singh said the “Do we Really Need Nuclear Power” forum on 16th March 2019, about the tendency towards a poor maintenance culture in Malaysia, especially at government facilities, hence my doubt that if Malaysia adopted nuclear power facilities and especially had to manage the safe storage of nuclear waste deep underground for thousands of years, that the government department, agency, statutory body or GLC responsible for its safe and secure maintenance would likely not dilligently continue to do so for the long duration required. Heck! I wonder whether the Finish authorities would do so for thousands of years or even if Finland would still be the Finland we know thousands of years from now.

    Back when the Multimedia Super Corridor or MSC Malaysia was launched in the mid-1990s, an integrated telemedicine system, in which patient information would be shared between government hospitals and clinics across the country was one of the Flagship Applications, with the potential to extended access to the network to private hospitals and clinics as well. Well Selayang Hospital was Malaysia’s the “first paperless and filmless medical centre when it rolled out portions of ICT (information and communications technology) beginning Aug 2 (1999)”, according to an archived article by my former colleague Anita Devasahayam, published by In.Tech, the ICT pullout of The Star on 21 September 1999, almost 20 years ago.

    “Full speed ahead”
    “Posted on September 21, 1999”

    http://www.trinetizen.com/archive/?p=167#more-167

    Yup! Those were heady days for Malaysia’s ICT initiatives alright, where your “healthcare provider” (Oh! such sophisticated-sounding management-ese), from major government hospitals all the way down to your neighbourhood general practitioner, would be able to tap a few keys on his computer keyboard to pull up your medical records, including X-rays, ECG graphs, test results and other records from a national medical database over a high-speed broadband connection. In addition, your doctor,surgeon or medical specialist could consult a world-renown medical expert or experts in fields related to your ailment anywhere in the world through video conferencing, and there were many vendors pitching their medical and boardroom sized medical video conferencing systems in Malaysia at the time. Boy, oh boy, those were such heady times, if writers back then, including myself, beleived all that we were fed and dutifully reported in our articles.

    Fast forward to today and and this article in The Sun of of 16th May 2019, almost 20 years after Anita’s article reports:-

    “System down in Selayang Hospital since May 4”
    “16 May 2019 / 18:44 H”

    https://www.thesundaily.my/local/system-down-in-selayang-hospital-since-may-4-MB883853

    Like anything else, such as a car, motorcycle or a house, ICT systems need constant and diligent maintenance, regular software upgrades, replacement and so forth, given the fast pace of ICT development and rate of obsolecence, where even ICT professionals and practitioners who are experts in their respective ICT technologies, development tools and systems back then are rendered oblolete mid-career.

    Well, it looks like the telemedicine system at Selayang Hospital is beginning to break down and the ICT people are having a hard time fixing it, whilst patients are greatly inconvenienced.

    I’m sure that they have such integrated telemedicine systems across major hospitals all the way down to clinics, in ambulances and even patients’ homes in advanced countries in Europe, North America and Asia and they work well but it looks like these whilst these first world facilities and infrastructure may work well in Malaysia initially, but over time they tend to break down.

    Like

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