Sabah still has the most blackouts
Published on: Wednesday, October 24, 2018
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Kota Kinabalu: The State and Federal governments will look into strengthening electrical supply transmission and distribution as a first step towards addressing the electricity disruption problems in the State which is the worst nationwide."The main reason there is so much disruption is due to the transmission and distribution networks, which is why the focus is to get this up and running first," said Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister, Yeo Bee Yin.

She said the State's electricity problem is not only about generation.

"The power reserve in Sabah is at 32 per cent which is similar to the Peninsula. This means there is enough electricity supply for now in the State.

"But what we are seeing is Sabah electricity interruptions are four times higher than Peninsular Malaysia due to the State's transmission and distribution lines.

"This would be the top most priority for both Federal and State governments. The Federal Government has allocated projects towards strengthening these transmission and distribution networks in the State.

"However, in the long run, we need to discuss further how we can continue these plans and ensure Sabahans enjoy electricity supply standards similar to the Peninsula and Sarawak," she told the media after meeting Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at the PKNS Building office, Tuesday.

"The electricity supply interruption problem in the State is the highest in the country. So, I welcome the proactive approach taken by the Chief Minister to overcome this problem with the Federal Government and I give my commitment that we will make the best decision for the State so that we can supply electricity that is affordable, reliable and sustainable for Sabahans.

"We will work together with the State Government to come up with short, medium and long term plans by the end of this year.

"With this, we hope to set up a foundation so that in the future, such longstanding problems can be settled once and for all and will be a thing of the past in the State.

On the issue of coal power plants, she said the matter was still under discussions. She said the focus was to provide reliable and sustainable power in Sabah and minimise disruptions.

"We will come up with a plan by year-end, hopefully, and then we will make an announcement once we have it."

Yeo said the ongoing federal project to improve power supply in Sabah would probably be completed by the end of 2021.

"By then, Sabah can expect a 50 per cent reduction in disruptions. But, it would still be double the rate faced by consumers in Peninsular Malaysia."

Meanwhile, Yeo said the government has decided to prepare itself better to face disasters which includes developing a locational SMS tsunami alert system to be used to warn the public if disaster strikes.

She said this was in view of climate change and warnings by geologists that some areas in the country, including Tawau, could be hit by a tsunami.

"A person will receive a text message on the phone at the location where the tsunami alert or warning is issued.

She said the 56 tsunami warning sirens nationwide at high risk tsunami areas are working, but there is concern that people may not know what the sirens mean. So there needs to be proper drills.

Even if the sirens are sounded, people may not know what to do," she said adding that there is need to have drills so the people are aware of the meaning of the sirens and the next course of action to be taken by them.

She said the government with relevant departments i.e. Meteorological Department are working on a plan on increasing awareness on the matter and that the SMS alert system could also be expanded for other disasters in the future. - Neil Chan


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