Parliament: Of solar energy and dress codesPosted: October 16, 2008
Today, Teresa Kok was among the MPs to present their argument in Parliament. She, as one would expect, spoke on the use of the ISA.
She made some other points that were very valid, I think, and worth that much thought. She touched on the use, or lack of use in this matter, of solar power in the country. She rightly puts it that in a country like Malaysia where sunlight is in abundance, one would imagine that solar is one of the alternative energy sources that we should be investing in.
Instead, we are hearing of the building of dams and more dams, and when there are no more rivers to be dam(n)ed, then comes the suggestion of going for nuclear power.(Note of interest, in New Zealand where sunlight is practically worshipped because they get so little of it compared to tropical countries, they’re actually ‘chasing the sun’ to enhance solar heat gain. So it tickles me that we don’t appreciate and use what we have in abundance in Malaysia.)
She also rightly says that there are actually good solar panel manufacturers and companies in Malaysia, but whatever is produced is only exported out of the country, and not fully utilised even by Malaysia itself. Teresa suggests that perhaps incentives should be given to include solar panels, or at least solar hot water systems in future buildings and houses.
It is, of course, not in the best interest of the IPPs and construction companies who build the multi-million ringgit dams that we prioritise the use of solar energy. After all, solar energy basically translates into using less energy from the power suppliers, which means less profit.
But one must start thinking in terms of sustainability (I blame my course in architecture that’s banging me in the head with sustainable design), and of course, in the best interest of the society as a whole.
On another note, Teresa was chided by MP from Bintulu (Tiong King Sing), if I’m not mistaken, for not wearing an overcoat in the House when debating. The Speaker (I think it was the Deputy) cleared things up when he clarified that the attire for women in the House is simply skirts that are below knee-length, and long-sleeved shirts. No need for an overcoat.
I admit, this is a petty issue. So petty that I shouldn’t even be writing about it. And so petty that Bintulu shouldn’t have interrupted Teresa’s flow. And this was almost at the end of Teresa’s speech!
And to be honest, I feel that this has sexist undertones as well. Women do seem to have it harder. Wherever they go and whatever they do, the first thing that is looked at is how they are dressed.
As long as she is dressed decently, there shouldn’t be a problem. And if there is an absolute need to interrupt, let it be conducive. Bring up points to contend. Don’t go for the clothes.
*Note: On this matter, I’m not happy with MP from Bukit Mertajam’s (Chong Eng) reaction either. She was just loud. And unconducive. (She’s not the only one, of course.)
Like what Patricia said, sometimes all of them just act like idiots, political affiliation aside. They’ve just got to start acting and behaving like they belong up there, representing us and debating on things that will influence our lives.