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S’wak blackout: Make report public

 | July 19, 2013

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How wants the investigations to include a study into the massive losses incurred by the consumers and business community.

KUCHING:  The state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) should make public the preliminary findings on Sarawak’s statewide blackout on June 27.

Raising the issue, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said:  “A detailed investigation into the statewide blackout should be opened.

“It should include interviewing of households, commercial and industrial consumers, to determine the extent of the losses and damages suffered in the blackout, hence ensuring preventive and remedial actions may be planned and implemented.

“The investigation must be thorough, transparent and accountable to the Sarawakians and the investors who are investing in Sarawak, as the impacts and consequences of the power outage are bore and suffered by those in the state and those in Semenanjung Malaysia.”

See, who is state PKR vice-chairman, was commenting on a statement by the federal Finance Ministry secretary general Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah who said that a comprehensive study would be carried out soon to identify the causes of the occasional massive power failures in the state.

Irwan said a consultant has been appointed for the purpose and the study is expected to start soon.

He pointed out that the government felt there was an urgent need to find out the actual causes of the power interruptions in Sarawak.

“We want to indentify the root cause, whether it is the Bakun hydro dam, the transmission line and distribution system or what.

“For this purpose. A consultant has been engaged about two weeks ago to conduct a comprehensive study on the power supply system in Sarawak,”  Irwan said, adding that he would be meeting the consultant and SEB on the matter.

Responding to the statement, See said it was disappointing and unacceptable that that the completion and submission of preliminary findings by SEB, Sarawak Hydro Sdn Bhd and private consulting firm Poyre Engineering Sdn Bhd was made to the federal Finance Ministry.

“I wish to remind the Sarawak State Government and particularly SEB, that through the Norwegian CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit, it was promised that a detailed investigation report by a third party will be completed and made public in two weeks.

“Now, after three weeks, both SEB and the third party have only completed a preliminary finding and they are submitting them to the federal finance ministry.

“Why to the federal ministry? Such an attempt is misplaced and it casts a long shadow of doubt whether Sarawakians will be kept in the dark as to the cause and consequences of the massive power outage,” he said.

Consumer losses

See said it was vital that Sarawakians be told the outcome of  the preliminary findings.

“Affected Sarawak consumers, whether they are household, commercial or industrial consumers must be be invited to put forward their views and suggestions on further and detailed investigation by SEB, Sarawak Hydro Sdn Bhd and the third party consulting firm Poyre Engineering Sdn Bhd.

“The detailed investigation should not be limited to power generation, transmission and distribution. It is a significant component in such investigation to determine the losses, damages and other consequences as a result of such unfortunate events.

“The investigation should therefore be opened and participatory for the public.

Besides the rights to know the cause of the massive blackout, the general households, the commercial and industrial users, the local councils and the public authorities can plan and undertake preventive and precautionary measures to minimize impacts of any recurrence of power outage.

“It is also necessary for the opened and detailed investigation to look into the losses and damages resulted from the massive blackout.

“ This is not the 70s or 80s when people may be brushed aside with a mere excuse that there is no provision in the ordinance and laws that require the power supply authority to compensate the consumers.

“We demand competency and responsibility from the authorities.

“We therefore urge (Tan Sri) Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the Secretary-General of the Finance Ministry, to make public the preliminary findings submitted by the SEB, Sarawak Hydro and Poyre Engineering, after meeting these three groups today,” he said.


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