By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 27.2.1993:
DAP warns TENAGA NASIONAL not to unearth dusty and musty regulations which nobody has heard about as scapegoat for the current National Energy Crisis
A press report from Johore Bahru today that tens of thousands of factories, business and commercial premises ad private homes throughout the country face action from TENAGA NASIONAL for installing air-conditioners without its approval is the latest chapter of the incompetence and ineptitude of TENAGA NASIONAL which has led to the current National Energy Crisis.
TENAGA’s southern region manager, Haji Yaakob Haji Sharif, is the source of this ‘shocker’ that according to procedures, approvals from TENAGA must be sought by the electricity retailers and contractors undertaking the installation of air-conditioners.
Haji Yaakob has blamed such illegal installation of air-conditioners as a cause of the National Energy Crisis, and he said that TENAGA “might take deterrent action and cut power supply to such premises until the illegal units are dismantled.”
He also did not rule out the possibility that TENAGA might conduct surprise checks to pt a stop to such illegal electrical extension works.
If it is true that air-conditioners could not be installed without first getting written approval from TENAGA NASIONAL BHD, then this must be one of the best-kept secrets of all the government regulations in the country.
I have no doubt that virtually 100 per cent of the tens of thousands of air-conditioners installed in the country for factories, business, commercial premises and private homes had been done without written approval from TENAGA, not because they want to defy or flout the law, but because nobody knew of the existence of such a law.
Challenge to Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Samy Vellu, to declare whether he had obtained written approval from TENAGA for the air-conditioners installed in his residence?
I dare say that this is a law which even the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers are utterly ignorant of – and I challenge the Cabinet Ministers to declare how many of them had secured written approval from TENAGA NASIONAL BHD before installing air-conditioners in their homes.
I will not be surprised if not s single Cabinet Minister had obtained written approval from TENAGA before installing air-conditioners in their residences.
In fact, I would challenge the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, to declare whether conditioners installed in his residence, and if so, to immediately produce such written TENAGA approval.
If Samy Vellu had not himself obtained written approval from TENAGA before installing air-conditioners, is TENAGA going to disconnect power supply to the residence of Samy Vellu – or are such actions to be reserved for ordinary people and businesses?
The TENAGA Chairman, Tan Sri Ani Arope, should also declare whether he had obtained written approval from TENAGA before the installation of the air-conditioners in his residence, or whether he is ‘immune’ from such a regulation and from power cut-offs for breach of such regulation?
If there are in fact regulations requiring written approval from TENAGA before air-conditioners could be installed, then TENAGA must bear full responsibility for the virtually 100 per cent breach of such a regulation, as such a regulation had been buried away without anybody knowing it.
As nobody knows of such a regulation, and TENAGA and its predecessor, LIN, as well as the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts and never informed the people of such a regulation (themselves probably totally unaware of it), such a regulation is a dead letter and should be allowed to remain a dead regulation.
DAP warns TENAGA NASIONAL BHD not to unearth dusty and musty regulations which nobody has heard about as a scapegoat for current National Energy Crisis.
Otherwise, we may soon be hearing some TENAGA official claiming that written approval from TENAGA must be obtained before fans, rice cookers, television and other electrical appliances are installed.
DAP will launch a nation-wide campaign against TENAGA for its incompetence, ineptitude and unaccountability if it harasses or inconveniences consumers on the dead regulation about TENAGA written approval for air-conditioners
Instead of taking the country towards 2020, TENAGA seems to be trying to bring the country back to 1919!
TENAGA has made itself the laughing-stock of the country with its revelation that written approval of TENAGA is required before the installation of air-conditioners – as Malaysia has overnight become a country not only of illegal immigrants but also of illegal air-conditioners.
Samy Vellu as well as all Cabinet Ministers have also been made to look very foolish, raising afresh the question about the wisdom of untrammelled privatization which allows TENAGA to be an exclusive private monopoly – where there are no effective way to hold TENAGA to the principles of public accountability.
TENAGA should completely dismiss from its mind any proposal to take action such as cutting power supplies or dismantling the ‘illegal air-conditioners’ for factories, business, commercial premises and private homes which had installed air-conditioners without TENAGA approval, as this will become a political scandal of the first magnitude.
TENAGA must be warned not to send its people around the country whether to factories, business, commercial premises or individuals to demand for written approval from TENAGA for their air-conditioners.
The DAP will champion the consumers if TENAGA tries to take any action under such a dead regulation. DAP will launch a nation-wide campaign to organize the 3.2 million consumers against TENAGA for its incompetence, ineptitude unaccountability if TENAGA harasses or inconveniences the consumers, whether factories, business, commercial premises or individuals, on the dusty, musty and dead regulation requiring TENAGA written approval for the installation of air-conditioners.