Keng Yaik should present Ministerial statement on five-state power outage in two-day special Parliamen sitting latest by Tuesday in time for emergency debate on power blackout


Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Minister for Energy, Water and Communications, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should make a Ministerial statement on Thursday’s  five-hour five-state power outage affecting three million consumers in the two-day  special Parliamentary sitting latest by Tuesday in time for the emergency debate on the power blackout sought by the DAP MP for Bukit Bintang, Fong Kui Lun. 

The Ministerial statement on the sixth  major power outage in 16 years since 1988 should inform Parliament and the nation as to why Tenaga Nasional  Bhd. had failed to act on a consultant ‘s recommendation in the middle of last year to beef up the stability of the power transmission systems to avoid a recurrence of major blackouts as well as various measures to plug shortcomings and further strengthen the national power system. 

The Edge in its latest issue yesterday reported that Dr. Azlan Arimez from the United Kingdom, together with a local consultant, had prepared the report following the blackout in the northern region in September 2003, which hit five states, viz, Penang, Perak, Kelantan, Perlis and Kedah as well as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.  The four other major outages were in June 1988 which affected 11 states  for several hours;  September  1992, affecting all states, except for Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu, and which took  two days before power was fully restored; August 1996, a 17-hour nation-wide outage and November 1998, affecting eight states. 

The Edge said the UK consultant pointed out that there were no operational planning studies done to ensure the stability of the power system, and that the September 2003 blackout in the northern region could have been prevented had Tenaga taken some measures to test the system. 

The Ministerial statement should also inform Parliament and nation as to why the Energy Commission had failed in its role as the government regulatory body of Tenaga to ensure that there is a zero-major outage national energy system, especially after five major outages in the past 16 years. 

Most important of all, the Ministerial statement should state the government’s stand on the proper compensation that should be made by Tenaga Nasional for Thursday’s power outage affecting three million consumers, industrial, commercial and individual.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman