by Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-general and MP for Tanjong, Lirn Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 5th October, 1995:
Sad that when the top priority of Penang State Government, as to free Penangites from the curses’ of endless power blackouts and floods , it is more interested in giving jobs for the boys’ by increasing three new Exco seats
It is sad that when the top priority of the Penang State Government – is to free Penangites from the curses of endless power blackouts and floods, it is more interested in giving jobs for the boys’ by increasing three new Exco seats.
After the 10-day Penang island power blackout, the people of Penang were promised that such power black-outs would never happen again in the State.
Unfortunately, power blackouts have now become identified with the Penang state, not only nationally but also internationally with power discrupted to more than 10,000 consumers in Seberang Perai Utara district on Monday and Tuesday. Several areas on the island were also without electricity for several hours on these two day.
The Penang State Government was aware that the power supply in Penang was very precarious, and this was why in the April general election campaign, the Penang Barisan National forewarned that. Penang voters should not allow power blackouts to influence their voting.
It is clear that the Penang State Government was only interested in how the precarious power supply situation would affect, the Barisan National election chances, when they should have taken positive measures a few years back to ensure that, the 10-day power blackout on the Penang Island in June never took place or that the repeated power disruptions since then could have been avoided.
The same applies to the Penang flood situation – with Penang suffering another “worst ever flood” last month, paralys¬ing the entire Penang state with immense avoidable losses to the people of Penang.
Even now, there is no news about the inquiry into the Penang bridge cable fire which caused the 10-day power blackout on the Penang Island in June or any news of the compensation or “ex gratia” payment from Tenaga for Penang industry, business and consumens for the losses they incurred as a result of the power blackouts.
Where is the emergency State Assembly meeting which the Penang people had been told would be convened to deal with this most unsatisfactory state of affairs on power supply as well as compensation by Tenaga Nasional?
Instead, there are now reports that Tenaga Nasional has again submitted its application increase of electricity tariffs.
Last Sunday, the DAP proposed the convening of an emergency Penang State Assembly meeting for the State Assembly to take a unanimous stand that the Penang State Assembly, Government and people oppose any increase of electricity tariffs unless Tenaga Nasional agrees to the legal liability to compensate industry, business and consumers for losses incurred as a result of power blackouts and disruptions- including compensating Penang industry, business and consumers for the 10-day Penang Island blackout in June and all subsequent power failures in the Penang state.
What is the stand of the Penang State Government on this question?