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Where is the capacity of Trans-Peninsula Petroleum Sdn Bhd (TPP) to undertake and manage a RM 24 billion project with a paid up capital of RM 150,000 and is a loss making company with accumulated losses of RM 155,376 as at 30.6.2006?
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must explain where is the capacity of TPP to undertake and manage a RM 24 billion 310 kilomenter oil pipeline project with a paid up capital of only RM 150,000 and is a loss-making company with accumulated losses of RM 155,376 as at 30.6.2006. This must be a record for a company with a RM 150,000 paid up capital to carry out a RM 24 billion project.
Despite the poor financial performance, the Prime Minister had put his personal prestige behind this project by approving it on May 7 and witnessing the signing of the agreement with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 28 May 2007. DAP is willing to support the RM 24 billion 310 km crude oil pipeline project built by TPP as long as the requirements for the EIA study has been approved. This is consistent with DAP’s position of giving both economic development and environmental protection equal importance.
The oil pipeline project traversing Kedah, Perak and Kelantan will enable oil to be supplied to major oil importers like China and Japan by completely by-passing Malacca Straits. Doubts about the ability of TPP to finance a RM 24 billion project. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi must explain why approval is given to the RM 24 billion 310 km crude oil pipeline project traversing Kedah, Perak and Kelantan while the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study has not even been submitted to the Department of Environment?
This shocking revelation was made by the Director of Environment Halimah Hassan dated 13 June 2007 in a letter replying DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng that the EIA report for the trans-peninsular oil pipeline project has not been submitted to the Department of Environment. In the letter, she said that the EIA report will be publicised in local papers and public review sought after the EIA report has been submitted to the DOE by the developers.
(Berdasarkan rekod Jabatan ini, adalah dimaklumkan bahawa setakat ini Laporan Penilaian Impak Kepada Alam Sekitar bagi cadangan pembinaan saluran paip minyak dari Yan, Kedah ke Bachok, Kelantan belum dikemukakan kepada Jabatan ini. Laporan EIA berkenaan akan diumumkan melalui akhbar-akhbar tempatan bagi mendapatkan ulasan awam apabila laporan EIA bagi cadangan projek tersebut telah siap dijalankan dan dikemukakan kepada Jabatan ini oleh pihak pemaju projek kelak)
Obviously, the construction project which costs RM2.39 billion has not fulfilled the requirements of Environmental Quality Act 1974? How can the approval be given even before the EIA is submitted for approval by the Department of Environment (DOE)?
To avoid any violations of existing environmental laws, the crude oil pipeline project should be allowed only after the required EIA study has been approved. Any project involving construction of pipelines more than 50 kilometers in length and affecting forest reserves is deemed to be a “prescribed activity” requiring an EIA under Section 34A(2) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 before approval can be given. Any failure to obtain approval of the EIA would make the project still-born by reason of illegality due to non-compliance of statutory requirements.
Has the government taken initiative to set up a Environmental Risk Management system to prevent, reduce or control the likely accidents? What are the steps taken to ensure that the oil pipelines leakages and explosive accidents seen in other countries will not be repeated in Malaysia? These questions can only be addressed with a full EIA, which has not been approved but yet the details of this RM 24 billion project has been announced with great fanfare.
Thing Siew Shuen appointed as the Environmental Officer to the Secretary-General
DAP wishes to welcome Thing Siew Shuen to our headquarters executive team. Thing, a masters graduate United Kingdom, has been appointed as the Environmental Officer to me. Such an appointment stresses the importance DAP places on environmental protection issues to ensure a clean and safe heritage for our children.
Thing has worked closely on environmental issues and apart from a keen interest, her academic background on environment would contribute towards creating a greater public awareness of environmental protection.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP