Supply Sarawak power to Sabah and not Indonesia or Brunei
Kota Kinabalu, 30 April 2009: The current load shedding is
understood to last until June draws a lot of fury from the people
and to make matters worst Sabah Electricity Sdn. Bhd. (SESB) had
admitted it has stop transferring energy to the East Coast via the
grid system since several days ago.
And Sabah, the state with most power failures in the country,
deserved electricity supply from Bakun dam or Murum dam, both in
Sarawak and not Indonesia or Brunei, to address shortages here as
well as overcome the problems once and for all.
Luyang Assemblywoman, Melanie Chia said, Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Najib Tun Razak should consider electricity either from one of the
dam be supplied to Sabah because of the perennial power failures all
over the State.
"Sabah deserved such power supply and not Kalimantan or Brunei. It
is the best measure to overcome power shortages in Sabah," Chia who
is also Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Wanita Chief said in a
statement, here, today.
Najib had on April 23 in Jakarta announced that power from Bakun Dam
will be supplied to Kalimantan as well as West Malaysia via under
The Bakun Dam is scheduled to operate in 2011 and the first cable is
expected to generate 1,800megaWatt (mW) power from Sarawak to Johor
by 2013 and the second cable in 2015.
Neighbouring country, Brunei is expected to receive up to 400mW of
electricity by 2013 by way of a transmission line from the 1000 mW
Murum dam in Sarawak.
Chia said, the Federal Government have to consider diverting power
surplus from Sarawak to the State by way of transmission line.
She said such option is the best way to address power inadequacy all
over Sabah because many measures have been taken but power shortages
have never been addressed satisfactorily ever since the formation of
Malaysia in 1963.
She said adequate and consistence power supply are the main point to
attract investments either foreign or local to boost the State's
SESB senior general manager, Peter Lajumin had admitted yesterday
that power failures might last until June and not at the end of
April as earlier thought, and his statement would make life more
harder for the people, in particular, the business sector who have
to bear huge losses.
According to Chia, the abrupt stopping of transferring energy to the
East Coast is very much regrettable and this add oil to fuel the
grudges of the people on the power supply dissatisfaction.
not hold us to ransom with coal-fired power plant!
On Lajumin's statement that the most efficient measure to solve
Sabah's long standing power woes, is to set up a coal-powered plant
but it has met with strong objections, Chia said "The utility
company shouldn't hold us to ransom".
She said coal-powered plant would create more problems like damaging
the environment and will affect the eco-system, which is
increasingly Sabah's asset especially in her promotion on tourism.
She added that the people also feared that the State's heritage,
Danum Valley, dubbed the lost world, rich with first class coal
deposits would be mined once supplies from Indonesia or China become
hard to get or when both countries are unable to supply in the
Chia added that the recent load shedding have affected at least 20
per cent areas in Sabah, which have electricity and the situation
could not do any good to the economy.
SESB short term measure to address the load shedding by renting 20
generator sets as announced recently, might not be enough even on
According to Chia, blackout struck many parts of the State without
notices causing much inconveniences to the people like traffic jams
at the affected areas.
She advised SESB to place notices in local dailies so as to inform
and let the people be prepared of any load shedding. An advance
schedule of notification on load shedding would also help prepare
the people in their daily conducts as well as avoiding unnecessarily
losses of money and time and also avoid blood pressure rising.
Chia said, electricity supply from Sarawak is very much needed in
Sabah because power breakdown is still around even with the
completion of the multi million Ringgit East-West grid system.
She also wondered the progress on the disclosure by the Sarawak
Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Seri Awang Tengah Awang Ali
Hassan late last year that Sabah was holding talks with Sarawak on
the purchase of energy from the neighbouring state.
Chia said, the talks showed that there are viable alternatives to
the 300 mW coal-fired power plant proposed to be sited in the East
Coast costing RM1.3 billion.
She said, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the 80 per cent owner of
SESB has not sufficiently considered non-coal options before
embarking on the proposed coal power plant in the East Coast.
She added that since solar power, wind power and bio-mass are not
yet commercially viable, TNB has a basic duty to the people of Sabah
to invest in hydroelectric power and natural gas energy.
She further said that when Sabah Electric Board (SEB) was taken over
by TNB in 1998 and become SESB, it was the hope then that the energy
situation in the State would be improved.
However, regretfully, the continuous breakdowns of power plants and
blackouts still a norm to Malaysians living in Sabah even until