What do North Korea, Malaysia and Iran have in common?
No, it's not 'violation of human rights', though that's a close answer. :)
Apparently folks, we are considering nuclear power as a future source of electricity energy.
It won't happen tomorrow; the fusion and fission of things are planned for beyond the year 2020.
But things are changing.
Bill Gates is no more the richest man in the world anymore; the title now goes to Warren Buffett.
In fact, my ole pal Bill has slid down to third spot, being beaten by Carlos Slim-Helu. For a brief period in 2007, the world's richest man was Mukesh Ambani.
Interesting (but useless) trivia: NONE of them own any oilfields. :)
But I digress. As usual.
Back to the issue, petrol prices are not what they used to be. You and I both know that. And not all of our electricity supply (contrary to popular opinion), comes from hydroelectric generation (which is of course, renewable).
Unfortunately, a lot of the electricity is produced using diesel. And with the hike in fuel prices, it's getting hard to maintain the same mode of power generation.
For those of you who don't know, the electricity tariffs were raised by Tenaga Nasional on the 1st of July.
Really, we can't go on building new dams. Even my colleague has been complaining about more and more dams being built in Sarawak, which is his native origin.
Firstly, a lot of land gets cleared in the process, disrupting the ecology - and by extension our natural heritage. Secondly, people get displaced.
Last but not least, the energy cannot be efficiently channelled from the source to the destination. Meaning, if it was generated in Bakun in Sarawak, it dissipates by the time it reaches Peninsular Malaysia because of the distance.
Hence the necessity for nuclear energy, which honestly, is not as dire and damning as it sounds. Everyone always thinks of Chernobyl and mushroom clouds upon the mention of 'nuclear' (or if George Walker Bush had his way, "new-killer").
France uses nuclear energy and the last time I was there, I didn't see anyone keel over and croak for no apparent reason. We can chill with the paranoia for now, if you don't mind.
BUT. And this is important.
We need to have efficient methods of disposing of the waste. Otherwise, it gets dangerous. I'd have more confidence in this new project if Pakatan Rakyat was at the helm.
But consistent with North Korea and Iran, we have our human rights violations. And of course, our token fanatic terrorists.
I doubt the world will stand by and bestow upon us their most benign smile and go-ahead nod.