Massive and prolonged power outage in southern Johor

Media conference statement by DAP Johor Chairman and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong, with DAP Johor State Assemblymen Cheo Yee How (Pengkalan Rinting), Wong Shu Qi (Senai), Andrew Chen Kah Eng (Stulang) and Special Assistant to MP for Gelang Patah Ng Siam Luang in Johor Bahru on 16th December 2017

The massive and prolonged power outage in Southern Johor, especially in Bukit Indah and Sutera areas, since Thursday 14th December, requires national attention from the Federal Government.

The crisis is still not resolved after more than 72 hours. This is probably the worst and longest power outage in Peninsula Malaysia since 1996.

As this is a serious crisis not seen for years, I call on Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili and Energy Commission Chairman Dato Abdul Razak bin Abdul Majid to step forward and provide explanation to the public. Both have so far remains silent on the subject. I tried to reach the minister via SMS but failed as his phone is switched off.

I was made to understand that KeTTHA Secretary-General Datuk Seri Prof. Zaini Ujang, the former VC of UTM Skudai, owns property in the neighbourhood affected by the power outage. I call on him to give urgent attention to the crisis if the Minister is on leave overseas.

The Energy Commission, the regulatory body governing the provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad, should investigate in the most thorough manner the factors and events causing the Perling PMU to be hit by a major breakdown on 12th December. The Energy Commission should direct TNB to assess the losses of the users and compensate accordingly.

DAP Johor calls for the full investigation report to be completed and made open to public as soon as possible.

While southern Johor is undergoing rapid development especially large numbers of residential, commercial and industrial projects in Iskandar Malaysia, the issues of energy and water security must be given top priority in development planning and execution.

Ordinary families, small and large businesses alike suffer and incur losses when we were hit by water cuts and now, power outages. Needless to say, the confidence of local and international investors will take a hit following the mishaps.

It is therefore crucial for the Government to be upfront about the causes of the breakdown and explain the subsequent remedial steps to the public to stop further erosion of public confidence.

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