by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, February 24, 1993:
DAP calls on the Prime Minister to table a White Paper in the Dewan Rakyat at the special parliamentary sitting on March 8 on the causes, magnitude and solution to the national energy crisis
The revelations about the national energy crisis at yesterday’s annual private sector dialogue with the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) are an eye-opener to the people of Malaysia and have reinforced their view that the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts and TENAGA NASIONAL BHD had become so complacent and irresponsible that they cannot be trusted to be exclusively responsible for the important infrastructure of energy in the country.
The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) for instance said that between March and September last year there were a total of 685 incidences of electricity interruptions in Perak, Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Penang.
According to its survey, the three-day nationwide power breakdown beginning on September 29 last year alone could have caused manufacturers about RM219 million in losses.
FNN also alleged that the number of hours of power failures has consistently increased since September last year. In October and November, they experienced 21 and 79 hours of power failure respectively.
The Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry (JCTI) in its memorandum at yesterday’s private sector dialogue with MITI said that 33 power failures were reported in Penang last year. These failures accounted for 6,713 minutes of lost time incurred among its members in the state.
The JCTI said that the frequent power failures are a major stumbling block toe\wards improvement of productivity and quality control and the cause of big losses for companies.
The JCTI also said that it had raised the same issue at every MITI dialogue session and so far, it was not satisfied with the steps taken by the TNB on the matter.
It is very clear from the submissions of both the FMM and the JCTI that long before the nation-wide power blackout on September 29, the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts and TENAGA NASIONAL BHD should be fully informed of the gravity of the national energy situation.
Their failure to take all necessary constituency plans to avert the 1993 National Energy Crisis is therefore all the more inexcusable and unforgivable.
Those who headed the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts and TENAGA NASIONAL BHD must bear full responsibility for the Nasional Energy Crisis which the country is facing today – both for their complacency and irresponsibility.
If they are allowed to remain in their present positions, then Malaysia will be the only country where those who must bear personal responsibility for the national energy crisis are allowed to remain untouched to resolve the crisis.
It would appear that there are no principles or standards of accountability in Malaysia, and no lesson would ever be learnt by anyone in positions of responsibility and power that they would be held accountable for their failures.
This is most unsatisfactory and unacceptable. In view of the gravity of the national energy crisis, as well as the importance of the principle of accountability for those in position of responsibility, the DAP calls on the Prime Minister to present a White Paper in the Dewan Rakyat on the special parliamentary sitting on March 8 on the national energy crisis – with regard to its causes, magnitude and solution, including whether those responsible whether by negligence, complacency or irresponsibility would be held to account by being required to relinquish their posts, whether in the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts or in TENAGA NASIONAL BHD.