Published on: Friday, March 28, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: The non-ending blackouts plaguing the State reflects poorly on the Barisan Nasional government since its leaders have continuously assured the people there will be less power interruptions each time it happened - only for their assurances to turn out worthless.
Stating this, former Deputy Chief Minister Tham Nyip Shen noted that there were four blackouts on Thursday alone, with life being brought to a standstill for six hours in one instance.
"The Federal Minister who is from Sabah should know the situation better and do his outmost to find a solution to the problems faced by his fellow Sabahans," Tham said, referring to Energy, Green Technology and Watyer Minister Datuk Maximus Ongkili.
"Today's four blackouts in six hours (also) did not reflect the assurance.
At private medical clinics where there is no power back-up, it was a matter of life and death," Tham said.
He said he was in the alarming position of being in a dentist chair when the power shutdown occurred.
"You cannot just imagine the suffering. The dentist told me today was not the first time," Tham added. According to Tham, his dentist informed him that once a patient was in the midst of having his tooth repaired when the current went off. The procedure had to be completed with the help of a torchlight.
Tham said that while government hospitals might not be affected as they have back-up generators, it should not be an excuse for the power utility to slacken in its duty of ensuring uninterrupted power supply to consumers.
He said commercial centres depend on power supply to function efficiently and blackouts meant less business for them.
He hoped the government would urgently address the problems.
While a blackout occurring once in a while might be accepted, four within six hours a day is too much a problem for the people, Tham said.
Most of those hit were in Kota Kinabalu and the towns around the city.
Businesses were hit along with operations at private clinics, bakeries and other production outlets.
Angry consumers flooded the Sabah Electricity Sabah Berhad (SESB) switchboards demanding an explanation.