KUALA LUMPUR: More sustainable approaches are needed to power up villages that have yet to enjoy electricity supply to ensure their benefits are felt for generations to come, says Yeo Bee Yin.
The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister said the conventional top-down approach, where allocation is given to fund development projects, is rarely effective.
"Allocation is only part of the solution.
"I remember when I visited an Orang Asli village, I saw solar panels that were not working anymore. We need more sustainable ways to power up the villages," she said.
She said there are also plans to power up 15 Orang Asli villages in Pahang, where villagers will also play a part in sustaining it.
"It is a pilot project where we plan to also empower the community to enable them to maintain the power system safely, so it will function for many, many years to come," she said.
Yeo added that the project, which will be funded through the Malaysia Electricity Supply Industry Trust Account, could also be the blueprint for a framework that could be used to power up more rural villages in the country.
The project will involve using a decentralised microgrid system and is expected to start at the end of the year.
Yeo also said the theme for the upcoming 12th Malaysia plan is shared prosperity, where the government hopes to work with the private sector and NGOs to ensure prosperity can be shared with the underprivileged, including the urban poor and those living in rural areas.
"People are not left behind by their own will, but because others don't know what their needs are.
"I believe those with resources and solutions can make their lives better, if they choose to take part in the cause," she said.
Yeo said this in her speech at during the World Indigenous Day celebrations at Google Malaysia office.
The Internet giant marked the day by showcasing how their solutions are used to document Orang Asli stories and highlight their issues.
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