Dr M: World needs non-polluting renewable energy, Malaysia not ready for nuclear power

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad answers questions at the dialogue session with the French business community in Cyberview Lodge Resort, Cyberjaya February 10, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad answers questions at the dialogue session with the French business community in Cyberview Lodge Resort, Cyberjaya February 10, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

CYBERJAYA, Feb 10 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today spoke of the inherent need for a more non-polluting renewable energy source for the world, but rejected nuclear energy source, over the fear of the radioactive level in its waste.

Dr Mahathir pointed out that Malaysia does not have enough expertise in science that is needed to manage nuclear power.

He also expressed worry about the long-term effects of radioactive waste.

“You don’t know how to dispose of the waste. If you have a nuclear power plant, you will accumulate nuclear waste which is radioactive. Until now they do not know how to reverse the process.

“That is why we cannot use nuclear material because it stays on for million years. We don’t want this country to be full of waste thrown all over the place and affecting people.

“That is why until we discover a way of reversing the process, we should not use nuclear material,” Dr Mahathir said.

In his dialogue with the French business community earlier, Dr Mahathir was asked about Malaysia’s vision on renewable energy source, after a pledge by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, to have Malaysia increase its renewable energy use to 20 per cent, by 2025.

In September, Yeo said that this will be accomplished via the Malaysia Energy Supply Industry 2.0 (MESI 2.0) plan.

In July 2018, Yeo announced that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government would not be building nuclear power plants or explore nuclear energy.

In winding up her ministerial reply on the 2020 Budget in Parliament last year, Yeo also announced that the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) would be shut down.

The plan to explore nuclear energy was first introduced in 2012, and was led by the MNPC that was established a year prior.

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