Malaysians Needed To Be More Aware Of Energy Issues


By Shahiddan Saidi
Pix Shahiddan Saidi

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Feb 2014 – An American expert on energy efficiency and conservation has expressed surprise at the low level of awareness on energy issues and climate change among Malaysians.

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Adviser at the Bureau of Energy Resources of the US State Department, Dr Patrick Meyer said knowledge among Malaysians on those issues needed to be heightened.

He was presenting his findings at the United Nations University Institute of Global Health (UNU) which is located in The National University International Medical Centre (UKM) here today.

Dr Meyer is currently on a three-month mission in Malaysia as a United States Science Fellow, stationed at the American Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and assisting the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation on their green development strategy.

In his talk “Mitigating Climate Change through US diplomacy” he mentioned several matters that could be improved in Malaysia with one the key factor being the need to heightened awareness and educate Malaysians on those issues.

He was surprised that in his discussions with various stake holders, one of the Malaysian car makers did not see electric cars as a promising area to go full speed.

He suggested subsidies on energy be reduced as this would encourage Malaysians to look and invest in other forms of energy that is friendlier to the environment.

Dr Meyer was, however, quick to qualify that his suggestion can only be implemented after proper measures are taken to make sure that it would not burden the public.

He was also surprised that though Malaysia has the biggest solar manufacturing industry in the world, he had not seen solar being used on large scale in the country.

Solar produced in Malaysia is meant only for the export market when it should be made available to the domestic market, Dr Meyer said.

He also suggested that all authorities dealing with environmental issues work together so as to achieve more when alluding to the fact that there are more than 10 government entities that work on clean technology issues. All of the agencies and entities must collaborate and needed to increase the flow of information between them, Dr Meyer said.

Present at the talk was Prof Jamal Hisham Hashim, a Professor of Environmental Health in UNU, students, lecturers and environmentalists.