Yeo Bee Yin

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Yeo Bee Yin

杨美盈
Yeo Bee Yin, 2013 (cropped).jpg
Yeo Bee Yin, in 2013
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change
Assumed office
2 July 2018
MonarchMuhammad V
Abdullah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyIsnaraissah Munirah Majilis
Preceded by1. Wilfred Madius Tangau (Science, Technology)
2. Maximus Ongkili (Energy)
3. Wan Junaidi (Environment)
ConstituencyBakri
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Bakri, Johor
Assumed office
9 May 2018
Preceded byEr Teck Hwa (DAPPH)
Majority23,211 (2018)
Member of the Selangor State Assembly
for Damansara Utama
(renamed Bandar Utama)
In office
6 May 2013 – 9 May 2018
Preceded byCheah Wing Yin (DAPPR)
Succeeded byJamaliah Jamaluddin (DAPPH)
Personal details
Born
Yeo Bee Yin

(1983-05-26) 26 May 1983 (age 35)
Segamat, Johor, Malaysia
CitizenshipMalaysian
Political partyDAP
Spouse(s)Lee Yeow Seng
Alma materNational Junior College
Universiti Teknologi Petronas
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
OccupationPolitician
ProfessionField engineer
Websiteyeobeeyin.com
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese楊美盈
Simplified Chinese杨美盈

Yeo Bee Yin (Chinese: 杨美盈; pinyin: Yáng Měiyíng; born 26 May 1983) is a Malaysian politician from the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a component party in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) ruling coalition. Yeo currently is the Member of Parliament for Bakri in Johor. Previously she was the former Member of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly for the Damansara Utama state seat for one term from 2013 to 2018.

Yeo was picked and sworn in as Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment on 2 July 2018, as part of Prime Minister Mahathir's 7th Cabinet.[1] The ministry was later renamed as Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) on 2 August 2018 for acronym convenience purposes.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Yeo was born on 26 May 1983, starts grewing up in Gomali Estate before moving to a small town, Batu Anam in Segamat at the northern part of Johor.[3]

Yeo was married on 11 March 2019 to Lee Yeow Seng, the chief executive officer of IOI Properties Group Bhd.[4] Lee is also the youngest son of the founder and boss of IOI Group; tycoon Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng.[5]

Education[edit]

Yeo graduated from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) with First Class Honors in Chemical Engineering under the Petronas Scholarship in 2006. After two years working with Schlumberger, she went on to pursue an MPhil (Masters in Philosophy) in Advanced Chemical Engineering at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, under the Gates Cambridge Scholarship by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and completed her degree with a Commendation.[6][7]

Political experience[edit]

She had been volunteering for DAP since February 2012 before joining the party permanently with another academician, Dr Ong Kian Ming, in August the same year.[8] While running her own business, she was also the social media strategic advisor to the party,[9] as well as special assistant to the Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua.

Following her election, Yeo said that her main priorities were decreasing the high crime rates, traffic jams, as well as combating flash floods and poverty issues.[10]

She is also the National Assistant Publicity Secretary of the DAP, Vice Chairperson of Pakatan Harapan Youth, and Political Education Director of DAP Wanita Selangor.[11]

In the 2013 general election Yeo contested for the first time and won the State Constituency for Damansara Utama on a DAP ticket with 83.6% of the votes and a 30,689 majority, the highest majority for state seats in Malaysia. She was then elected as the Selangor State Legislative Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on 5 May 2013 – the youngest member of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly.[11]

Yeo was picked by DAP to contest in the 2018 general election as the Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Bakri parliamentary seat in Johor[12] and successfully won it.[13]

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (2018 - Present)[edit]

Amongst her early actions as minister was to announce an increase of renewable energy goals from 2% to 20% by 2030.[14][15] She has also initiated a refurbishment of government buildings to lead on efficient energy consumption.[16]

She has helped to set up a nationwide ban on the import of plastic waste[17] and published a 12 year roadmap that includes a legal framework in eliminating the use of single use plastics in Malaysia by 2030.[18] Within a few short months as minister, her work on the environment had already garnered recognition from the journal Nature.[19]

Policy announcement[edit]

"Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastic" 2018–2030[edit]

According to a scientific study published in the journal Science in 2015, Malaysia is ranked 8th in mismanaged plastic wastes.[20] Mismanagement of plastic waste will impact the environment, health and economy of the country. There are also plastics that will decompose into micro-plastic that can enter the food chain and affect aquatic life and human health. [21] Therefore, Malaysia Roadmap to Zero Single-Use Plastic launched in October 2018 is a guideline for the nation to implement actions in phases for the next 12 years leading to 2030.[22] The roadmap is a living document which allows the state governments to roll out the initiatives and implementation of policies according to each state level of awareness and readiness within the time frame set by MESTECC.

Cancellation of four IPPs[edit]

The Malaysian Government has decided to cancel four Independent Power Producer (IPP)s' contracts, awarded through direct negotiations, for failing to adhere to conditions stipulated in the respective offer letters.[23] This announcement was made in a reply by Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin to a question from Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh in Parliament on 25 October 2018.

The four cancelled IPPs were Malakoff Corp Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd's 700MW gas powered plant in Kapar, Selangor; Aman Majestic Sdn Bhd and Tenaga Nasional's 1,400MW plant in Paka, Terengganu; Sabah Development Energy (Sandakan) Sdn Bhd and SM Hydro Energy Sdn Bhd hydropower plant at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Sandakan, Sabah and The solar power quota of 400MW to Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd for the utilisation of solar power plant.

If the national electric reserve margin remained at the optimal 32% and if these projects were allowed to continue, it would increase the reserve margin to 46%, which is a level above what is required.[24] When capacity payments increase, so will the electric bills. The cancellations had allowed the Government to achieve a savings of RM1.26 billion in electric supply.[25]

Feed-in Tariff (Fit) Quota Revocation and New Quota Release[edit]

A total of 156MW (155.7256MW) renewable energy quota revoked in September 2018 allowing for 115MW (114.5682MW) on offer in the fourth quarter of 2018. The quota will be opened for application in batches.[26]

The mini hydro will have a quota of 74.5682 MW for application expected to achieve commercial operations by 2020 and 2021. The quota allocated for biogas and biomass are 30MW and 10MW respectively; these quota are for applications achieving commercial operations by 2021.[27]

That is the first time Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) had opens the e-bidding for biogas in Feed in Tariff system aiming to create better pricing efficiency for electricity generated from the biogas resources through healthy competition.[28]

Solar PV Initiatives - Improvement of Net Energy Metering (NEM)[edit]

Background of NEM Towards the end of 2016, the Malaysian Government had introduced the Net Energy Metering(NEM) programme to encourage installation of rooftop Solar PV to generate renewable energy for consumption and to export back to the grid and the producer-consumers will be paid back with the displaced cost through the electricity bill.

The quota that was determined in 2016 was 500MW for the period of 5 years from 2016 to 2020. The breakdown was 120MW for domestic users, 195MW for commercial and 185MW for industrial. However, two years after the launched the uptake rate was very low at about 17MW or 3.4%[29].

Improvement To improve the implementation of NEM, the MESTECC implemented initiatives for domestic, commercial and industrial users.[30]

For domestic users, the Government will improve NEM by allowing the additional energy that is generated to be exported back to the grid, on a one-to-one offset. This means every 1kWh generated will be off-set against 1 kWh utilized by the customer, instead of at the previously quoted displaced costs.[31] Through this initiative, MESTECC hopes the uptake for the NEM will increase as subsequently reduces the cost of energy for domestic users.[32]

For the commercial and industrial users, the Government has agreed to implement NEM through the solar leasing mechanism using the Supply Agreement for Renewable Energy (SARE).[33] Through this method, the cost for purchasing and installation of Solar PVs, electricity generation revenue, and electricity tariff will be agreed upon by three parties between Customers, Investors/Owners of PV Panels and the utility company (TNB). This initiative frees the customers from paying for the upfront cost.[34] The installation and Solar PV cost will be borne by Investors and utility company.

Decision on Accumulated Radioactive Residue at Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng, Kuantan[edit]

Following the Executive Review Committee on Operations of Lynas Advance Material Plants (LAMP) in Gebeng which was presented to the MESTECC as scheduled on 27 November 2018, the Ministry is concerned with the increasing risk arising from the continued accumulation of residue without a viable solution to manage its accumulation in the near-term.[35] For this reason, the Ministry will not allow the unlimited accumulation of residue at LAMP.[36]

In this regard, the following pre-conditions will be applied to Lynas Malaysia for future licences/permission renewals:

  1. The accumulated WLP residue, which contains radioactive materials, must be removed from Malaysia. (Note: the existing temporary storage licence expires on 2 September 2019.) The Ministry notes that Lynas Corporation Ltd., Australia (Lynas Australia) and Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Lynas Malaysia) had each presented letters of undertaking dated 23 February 2012 and 6 March 2012 respectively indicating their commitment to remove LAMP residue from Malaysia, if necessary.[37]
  2. For the non-radioactive NUF scheduled waste, LAMP shall submit an action plan on the disposal of its accumulated wastes before it will be considered for future applications under Rule 9 (6) and 9 (7) of the Environmental Quality Regulations (Scheduled Waste) 2005. (Note: the current approval for the storage of scheduled wastes is valid until 15 February 2019).[38]

The Ministry is confident that this decision will help further ensure the well-being of the community and the environment.

Political Career (Selangor State Assembly Representative - from June 2013 to April 2018)[edit]

Rosmah and Permata[edit]

In March 2017, Yeo questioned the finances of the Permata programme, a child education and welfare programme, of which Prime Minister Najib Razak's wife, Rosmah Mansor is the patron, urging for the transparency of the organisation's financial accounts.[39]

Yeo also questioned the need for a separate agency under the Prime Minister's Department with Rosmah, an individual not elected by the people, to have such a significant role in government, saying that early childhood development programmes such as Permata should be under the respective full ministries which are more equipped and have the personnel with more experience in the field.[40]

2017 misappropriation allegation[edit]

In March 2017, Jamal Mohd Yunos, the Sungai Besar UMNO Chief had alleged that funds from the Selangor state government for the Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) had been misappropriated by Yeo. Yeo disproved the allegation with documents showing each SMUE payment made.[41] Yeo appeared at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office where Jamal was expected to show up to lodge a report. Yeo brought along a mirror with the words "Nothing to Hide" written on it to be presented to Jamal.[42] Jamal however did not appear to lodge his report and the mirror was instead handed to his representative. Subsequently, Yeo filed a RM5 million suit against Jamal for defamation, in which, Jamal failed to appear at the High Court case management.[43]

MCA land dispute[edit]

In September 2017, DAP lawmakers questioned the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) of Selangor about a one-acre plot of land in Kampung Cempaka, Petaling Jaya which was allegedly purchased under market price.

MCA had applied for the land in 2006 and got approval from the state government in 2007 (which was then under Barisan Nasional). MCA then bought the land at RM 52,000 in 2008 at RM 1 per square foot (psf), when the land in fact was worth more than RM400psf. Yeo later on discovered the MCA's plans to convert the land to commercial status earlier in the year. She questioned the methods of how MCA managed to purchase the land under market price.[44] When the former MCA Member of Parliament of Petaling Jaya Utara, Chew Mei Fun was contacted on the matter, she denied being involved in the land application and declined to explain further.

After the case was exposed to public knowledge, three MCA leaders - MCA Selangor Vice Chairperson Tang Song Chang, Chew and current MCA PJU division chief Tan Gim Tuan came forward to justify that the 1acre plot of land bought under market price will be used for public service. Yeo refuted this claim, explaining that if the land was actually for public service, then there would be no need for MCA to own the land as public service lands should be owned by the state government. Yeo also requested for proof or guarantee that MCA intended the land to be used for public service, and also further questioned the reason MCA applied for the land to be rezoned and converted from a "water body" to "commercial land".[45]

Chew later threatened to sue Yeo and/or the DAP Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara then, Tony Pua, to which the DAP leaders openly welcomed, holding on to their standing that they had not done anything defamatory towards Chew or the MCA by revealing truthful facts.[46]

Charity work[edit]

Yeo's office runs two tuition centres in Damansara Bistari and Kampung Chempaka, which offer free classes for students between the ages of 7 to 17 from low-income families.[47] She also runs a monthly food bank program providing basic necessities assistance to more than 100 people.

She also works with DAP's Impian Malaysia movement, being one of the pioneers of the first Impian Sarawak project in Kampung Sait, Sarawak which works to provide basic infrastructure such as roads, water, and electricity in Sarawak.[48]

She is the founder of LEAP (Leadership, Education, Activism and Politics), which aims to educate students on the political process and activism in Malaysia, such as the formation of political parties, election campaigns, constituency management, media relations, coalition formation and debates.[7]

She is also the founder of the Lawatan Anak Muda (LAM) Programme which allows young participants to visit the Malaysian Parliament and the Selangor State Assembly. Participants get the chance to have a Q&A session with a few Members of Parliament and state assemblypersons.[49]

Publications[edit]

Yeo launched her first book, "Reimagining Malaysia" on the 14th of March 2018.[50][51]

Election results[edit]

Selangor State Legislative Assembly: N36 Damansara Utama[52][53][54]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2013 Yeo Bee Yin (DAP) 37,303 84.21% Lim Choon Kin (MCA) 6,614 14.93% 44,654 30,689 83.63%
Liew Wei Beng (IND) 380 0.86%
Parliament of Malaysia: P145 Bakri, Johor.[53][55][56]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2018 Yeo Bee Yin (DAP) 38,718 62.65% Koh Chon Chai (MCA) 15,507 25.09% 61,800 23,211 84.50%
Mohd Zahrul Salleh (PAS) 7,575 12.26%

Awards and recognitions[edit]

International Honours[edit]

  • 7 people who stood up for our planet in 2018 - By Eco-Business, a leading digital media company serving Asia Pacific’s clean technology, smart cities, responsible business and sustainable development community. [60]
  • 25 inspirational female climate leaders - "25 female climate leaders shaping 2019"-By The Ecologist a British environmental journal, then magazine, it addressed a wide range of environmental subjects and promoted an ecological systems thinking approach through its news stories, investigations and opinion articles.[61]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Bernama (August 8, 2018). "Mestecc is ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change". New Straits Times. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Yeo Bee Yin 杨美盈: My Story". Yeo Bee Yin 杨美盈 Blog. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ "When the stars finally aligned for Yeo and Lee". Sin Chew Daily. The Star Online. 30 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Yeo Bee Yin ties the knot with property CEO". Sin Chew Daily. The Star Online. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
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  27. ^ Corporat News (18 October 2018). "Non-performing Feed-in Tariff projects revoked". The Star.
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