by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, March 3, 1993:
Will Samy Vellu resign instantly as Cabinet Minister if there is another major power breakdown in the country?
The Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, said yesterday that the national energy crisis would be over in 10 months instead of a year “With generating turbines operating efficiently”.
Samy Vellu said that “after that, we will always have a minimum reserve capacity of 30 to 15 per cent”.
If a national opinion poll is conducted, I have no doubt that Samy Vellu’s promise of a 10-month solution to the national energy crisis would have the lowest public credibility – especially as the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts had never for¬-seen that the country would ever be plunged into a national energy crisis in the first place.
Malaysians will never forget that Samy Vellu attributed the three-day nation-vide power blackout on September 29 to ‘an Act of God’ – instead of a forewarning that the country was in the throes of a national energy crisis.
Why has the government failed to make public the report of the inquiry into the September 29 nation-wide power blackout?
Samy Vellu should explain why the government has failed to make public the report of the investigations into the September 29 nation-wide power blackout. Is this because the report would have exposed the incompetence, inefficiency, negligence and irresponsibility of both TENAGA NASIONAL BHD and the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts in anticipating and preventing a national energy crisis, despite the September 29 nation-wide black-out?
How can Samy Vellu expect his latest assurance to be be¬lieved when he is not prepared to make public the report into the September 29 nation-wide black-out?
Is Samy Vellu prepared to resign instantly as Cabinet Minister if there is another major power breakdown in the country?
Samy Vellu has not produced detailed and convincing facts and figures to support his promise of a solution to the national energy crisis in 10 months.
He said TENAGA’s total power production yesterday was 4,863 MW – up 69 MW from 4,794 MW the day before. Maximum demand was 4,530 MW compared with 4,400 MW the day before.
These facts conceal rather than reveal the causes of the national energy crisis in the country. In the middle of last month, TENAGA executive chairman, Datuk Dr. Ani Arope admitted that although the total installed generation capacity of TENAGA was 5,500 megawatts, it could only supply about 4,105 MW – 398 MW short of the peak demand.
From the figures that had been produced haphazardly in the past two months, it is clear that the root problem in the national energy crisis does not lie so much in ‘sudden surge in demand’ which hovers between 4,500 MW to 4,600 MW – and which had been anticipated by TENAGA.
The real culprit lies in TENAGA’s actual generating capaci¬ty, which fell to 4,100 MW in January and February, creating the national energy crisis.
TENAGA has said that most of its plants are more than eight years old and the turbines had to undergo frequent maintenance, serv¬ice and repairs, resulting in a shutdown and deficit of more than 1,000 MW from its total installed generation capacity at any one time.
From Samy Vellu’s latest figures, it would appear that TENAGA is now capable of generating 88.5 per cent of its total in¬stalled capacity, as compared to only 75 per cent last month when its production capacity was only 4,100 MW.
Is this the result of delays in maintenance and servicing of the turbines – and if so, will this mean that there will be even bigger power breakdowns in future for failure to provide the necessary regular maintenance, servicing and repair?
Challenge to Samy Vellu to declare whether he supports Royal Commission of Inquiry into National Energy Crisis
May be, Samy Vellu is hoping that when there is another major power breakdown, he would no more be in the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, and that some, other Minister would have to face the wrath of the public. If so, this would be the height of Ministerial irresponsibility.
I hope Samy Vellu is not motivated by such unworthy thoughts. This is why he should give the public all the facts and figures to fully explain the causes of the National Energy Crisis, and a comprehensive report of the measures that are taken to resolve the crisis.
As the Minister in charge, Samy Vellu should be the first Minister to support the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the national energy crisis and I hope he would give his support openly and publicly.