I have taxed a request to Samy Vellu asking for a copy of the report into the Sept. 29 nation-wide power blackout

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-¬General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, March 4, 1993:

I have taxed a request to Samy Vellu asking for a copy of the report into the Sept. 29 nation-wide power blackout

I have this morning faxed a request to the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, asking for a copy of the report into the three-day nation-wide power blackout from September 29 last year.

In an exclusive interview to today’s New Straits Times, Samy Vellu said the Cabinet had directed the Energy, Telecommunications and Posts to immediately implement 11 recommendations by a British consultant to increase the security and reliability of the Nation¬al Grid system to prevent major blackouts.

Samy Vellu said he would direct Tenaga Nasional Bhd to immediately take the the recommended steps to prevent an incident similar to the major blackout in Peninsular Malaysia on Sept. 29 last year.

The public must be mystified why the Cabinet must direct the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts to direct the TENAGA NASIONAL BHD to act on the recommendations of the British consultant. The impression one gets from such convoluted and redundant government process is that the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts wants to give the impression that his Ministry is not in any way responsible for the September 29 blackout, and that it must be borne fully and wholly by TENAGA NASIONAL Bhd.

The eleven recommendations of the British consultant ways to prevent future major power blackouts are:

• Audit of the transmission system protection facilities;
• Investigation of measures to improve transformer fault rate and double circuit fault performance of transmission lines;
• Review of automatic logging, recording and monitoring facilities;
• Review of planning measures, procedures and training;
• Review of planning and operational security standards and translation of generation security standard to plant margin requirements;
• Review of emergency and daily rota/demand management;
• Review of performance reporting process,
• Investigation of plant operating costs and procedures for economic plant operation;
• Introduction of independent panel of inquiry procedure;
• Review of power station black start procedure and operator training; and
• Audit of data utilisation from planning to operation of the system.

Even for a layman unfamiliar with the technical jargons, it is clear from the recommendations that the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts and the TENAGA NASIONAL BHD had failed to maintain the highest standards of power operations and management.

According to Samy Vellu, the report stated that the September 29 blackout was certainly triggered by lightning which struck the Teluk Kalong power station in Paka, Trengganu.

If this is the case, confirming Samy Vellu’s claim that the nation-wide blackout was ‘an Act of God’, the great mystery is why Samy Vellu has refused to make public the full report.

I hope Samy Vellu will agree to give me a copy of the report into Sept. 29 nation-wide power blackout, or the people must, assume that there is a cover-up of the investigations into the black¬out, somewhere.