by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 14th February 1993:
DAP calls for a total shake-up pf the energy authorities and officials for the scandalous National Energy Crisis in the country
Heads must roll for the latest government scandal in the country – the National Energy Crisis.
When the country was plunged into a nation-wide power black-out in September 29 last year, Malaysians were told that this was a “one-in-a-million freak incident”.
The Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said that Tenaga Nasional Bhd. could not be held responsible for the blackout as it was “an act of God”.
Are Malaysians being ‘favoured’ with another “act of God” now that the country has been hit by an epidemic of power failures, undermining industrial growth and scaring away intending investors – giving Malaysia the unsavoury image of following in the footsteps of the Philippines.
As Minister for Energy, Samy Vellu seems to have the special knack bringing to Malaysians many ‘Acts of God’. May be the only way for Malaysians to be spared such ‘Acts of God’ like nation-wide power blackouts and an epidemic of power disruptions is for Samy Vellu to leave the Energy Ministry.
DAP calls for a total shake-up of the energy authorities and officials for the scandalous National Energy Crisis in the country, to show that the government is serious about planning, accountability and responsibility.
Why had the high-powered task force headed by Samy Vellu in mid-August to prevent power blackouts failed in its task
Samy Vellu’s only answer to the National Energy Crisis is to announce the establishment of a Tenaga task force to deal with the crisis.
In this connection, Samy Vellu should publicly explain what has happened to a high-powered task force which he announced in August 1991 “to look into the short and long-term energy needs of the country” and to “devise ‘step-by-step’ plans and strategies for the next five years to meet the increasing demand for energy.”
Samy Vellu announced that he himself was heading this task force which comprised the deputy minister, the ministry’s secretary-general, director-general of the Department of Electricity, managing director of Tenaga Nasional Bhd. and its six general managers.
Samy Vellu said that the main task of the task force was to map out contingency plans to overcome expected shortfall in the supply of electricity.
Why has the task force headed by Samy Vellu in mid-1991to prevent power blackouts failed in its task? Had this Samy Vellu Task Force been mysteriously disbanded? Are we to attribute the failure of the Samy Vellu Prevent Power Blackouts Task Force as another “act of God”? What then is the use of other task forces now being formed in the midst of the National Energy Crisis?
In a speech in May 1991, I said that had received a 27-page letter by persons who described themselves as the “Concerned Engineers TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD” which provided information about the multi-billion ringgit TEN scandals of incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption.
The “Concerned Engineers TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD” warned that as a result of the TEN incompetence, mismanagement and corruption, there would be ‘long, regular brownouts and blackouts’ as TEN would be ‘forced to embark on load-shedding to save its main power stations from crashing and costing ten billions of ringgit in plant damage.”
However, both the warning of the DAP and the “Concerned Engineers TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD” were not heeded by the Cabinet and the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, and the warning of ‘long, regular brownouts and blackouts’ in the power supply in the country had become an unfortunate reality.