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AseanAffairs Magazine September - October 2010

Thai Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva

Four months on in the reconciliation process Asean Affairs examines the progress and shortcomings of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s plan to bridge

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Peter Chin, Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, was a keynote speaker at the recent Save Our Planet - Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Following the event he agreed to discuss the program that Malaysia has put in place to combat climate change and address environmental issues in Malaysia, in an exclusive interview with Asean Affairs.

Q: In a recent speech you said Malaysia wanted to become a leader in green technology. How do you plan to accomplish this?

A: Malaysia will be one of the pioneer countries that have seriously indulged in the area of green technology. Our seriousness can be seen through all the government initiatives and efforts in green technology. Besides, Malaysia will gain recognition for its effort and will benefit in terms of its investment and research and development opportunities. The early inculcation of using clean green products and services will benefit the country as the nation would be better prepared to face future environmental challenges.

By adopting and developing green technology, we would thus be able to reduce our carbon emissions and thus achieve our Honourable Prime Minister’s target of reducing carbon emission by 40 percent. To start with, a sector dedicated to green technology was created under the wings of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA). The restructuring of the National Energy Center to become the National Green Technology Center is the next step taken by the government. Both of these entities work hand in hand in the development and application of green technology in the country.

YB Dato' Sri Peter Chin, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia

Q: What are the challenges facing Malaysia regarding its water supply? Will desalinization plants be required in the future?

A: At the moment, there is no single agency in the country entrusted with overall responsibility of holistic planning and management of water supply. There are many agencies with overlapping responsibilities at the state and federal levels and insufficient coordination of agency activities in respect of meeting national objectives. Water systems have seen underinvestment in the past, in terms of providing efficient service facilities for customers. Privatisation has also led to varied success across various water supply projects.

There are a few challenges regarding the water supply which are high rate of Non-revenue water (NRW), inconsistencies of the water tariff for all the states, cumulative state debts from the federal government, and poor enforcement of raw water regulations by state governments.

So far, I do not see the urgency of having desalinization plants in the future. The current water production capacity is still adequate to meet the population’s demand. However, I do hope people in Malaysia will conserve water, especially during the dry season.


Q: Is Malaysia pursuing or planning to generate energy from biomass?

A: Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO). The by-products from the mills processing palm oil include solid waste from the empty fruit bunches (EFB), mesocarp fibres and palm kernel shells (PKS), and palm oil mill effluent (POME). Apart from that, our timber industry is also quite substantial and we also have biomass from our paddy production and solid waste.

Hence, the potential for energy generation from biomass is enormous, especially for the palm oil sector. Other than that, the generation of green energy from biomass will also create a positive image for our palm oil industry where it minimizes the amount of carbon emission from palm oil waste, resulting in a more sustainable palm oil industry.

Under the Feedin Tariff Mechanism that we are planning to introduce next year, biomass and biogas is among the renewable sources that have been identified to be developed to contribute towards our electricity generation mix whereby it will contribute approximately 1,040MW in terms of capacity by the year 2020. We foresee that with the introduction of this mechanism, we will be able to attract significant investments in the renewable power generation sector in general, including biomass energy. ...............

YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin, Minister of Energy, Green Technology & Water,
Malaysia delivers the keynote address at Save Our Planet - Malaysia.



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