THE Government should boost the green technology sector as it will produce a huge multiplier effect on the economy and create new jobs.
Offering several ideas, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) said the Government can use the generous savings made in fuel subsidies, due to the dip in oil prices, to purchase new electric buses.
“In the next two years, the Government will save RM12 bil in fuel subsidies due to the collapse in crude oil prices.
“Before the oil prices rebound, the Government can use the savings to purchase electric buses and send them to small and secondary towns in Malaysia,” its central committee member Sharan Raj told FocusM.
Elaborating this, Sharan said that based on his calculations, the Government can purchase about 13,000 electric buses using the RM12 bil savings made.
He added the buses should be deployed to towns such as Taiping, Kuala Lipis, Muar and others, where its residents are struggling due to lack of public transport services.
“When you deploy the buses there, it will create new jobs such as bus drivers, transport planners, supervisors and managers at the localities.
“In my estimate, that measure alone will create at least 14,000 new jobs,” said Sharan.
On top of creating jobs, he said, it will also help boost Government’s savings, by reducing fuel subsidies even further.
“As more people use public transports instead of private vehicles, the Government can make further savings on fuel subsidy,” Sharan added.
Expand EPC across Malaysia
On a related matter, Sharan also urged the Government to expand the use of the energy performance contract (EPC) to boost the economy and create jobs.
“The EPC, under the purview of the Works Ministry, has been around since January 2013 but not many knows of its existence.
“The programme is aimed at reducing utility cost of government-owned buildings,” he said.
Elaborating the point, Sharan said that under EPC, a government-owned building would engage a private contractor to renovate its electrical structure to be more energy-efficient.
“For arguments sake, let’s say a school’s electricity bill comes up to RM10 a month. Under the EPC, a private contractor would change all its electrical appliances such as lighting and ceiling fans to make it energy-efficient.
“As a result, the school’s electricity bill may drop to RM4 a month. So the Government saves RM6 per school.
“And let’s say you enter into an agreement with the private contractor that the latter will get a 50% cut from the savings for the next 10 years, the firm will earn RM3 but the Government still saves RM3 every month.
“After the 10-year agreement expires, the Government will make RM6 savings a month eventually,” he said.
For now, Sharan said, the Government spends about RM4 bil for the Peninsula alone on electricity bill.
He added that not only the Government would save money by expanding the EPC, it will also create a multiplier effect on the economy and create new jobs.
“The move will boost domestic manufacturing for energy-efficient appliances and create new jobs. We have not even included the multiplier effect it will create on other sectors,” he remarked.
Three days ago, Sharan urged the Government to expand the solar power quota to 2,000 megawatts (MW) for the period 2021-2025 in Peninsula Malaysia due to rising demand for renewable energy.
The expansion, he said, would bring RM8 bil to the economy, excluding the other multiplier effect it would have on Malaysia’s growth.
“Demand for rooftop solar has skyrocketed during the COVID-19-induced recession. Just a week ago, the 500MW rooftop solar quota for Peninsula Malaysia under the Net Energy Metering 2.0 (NEM 2.0) was exhausted,” he was reported saying. – Dec 5, 2020