TAWAU: The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sabah wants Federal Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Maximus Ongkili, to explain the non-receipt of the RM 1.8 billion long promised Sabah for the enhancement of power transmission and distribution to end the perennial scourge of blackouts especially along the eastern seaboard.
“There are seldom blackouts in Sarawak and the peninsula but it’s the norm in Sabah,” said DAP Sabah Vice Chairman Chan Foong Hin in a statement.
“Sabahans can’t tolerate this anymore, and we should demand for a major makeover of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB), perhaps get Tenaga Nasional Berhad out of the picture.”
He was commenting on the transmission line from Kolopis to Segaliud tripping on Thurs and plunging Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau into darkness for four hours.
Chan, who is also Sri Tanjong Assemblyman, called on Maximus to make good his pledge not so long ago that SESB would undergo a major reorganization as part of the government’s moves to further improve the power supply situation in Sabah.
In addition, he wants Maximus to give an update on the promised construction and commissioning of two power stations in Kimanis (SPR Energy and Kimanis Power), with a capacity of 100MW and 285MW respectively, to potentially provide the grid system in Sabah with a daily margin of between 150 MW and 220 MW.
He warned that the poor distribution and transmission system, where about 80 per cent of the electricity cables were old, can’t cope with any increase in power supply.
“Maximus should get the RM1.8 billion in the Budget to be presented to Parliament in October,” said Chan. “Sabahans want action to at least replace the old cables, not no action, talk only, lip service.”
Fifty one years after federating with the peninsula, stressed Chan, Sabah is still facing major infrastructural problems.