MELAYU CELUP MENGHAMBAKAN MELAYU JATI

ANI: TNB GOT A RAW DEAL. WHEN THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO APPROVE THE REQUEST FROM TENAGA NASIONAL BHD (TNB) TO RAISE ELECTRICITY TARIFFS, THE PLIGHT OF THE NATIONAL UTILITY TOOK CENTRE-STAGE. NATURALLY, THE KNEE-JERK REACTION AMONG CONSUMERS WAS NOT FAVOURABLE. THE 12% RISE IN TARIFFS APPEARS TO HAVE RE-IGNITED THE DEBATE ON HOW GOOD THE GOING IS FOR INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCERS (IPPS) AT THE COST OF THE NATIONAL UTILITY’S CASHFLOW. THE IMBALANCE BETWEEN THE GENERATION SIDE OF THE BUSINESS AND THAT OF TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION HAS PUT A STRAIN ON TNB. TO UNDERSTAND THE PRIVATISATION OF THE POWER GENERATION SECTOR, ONE NEEDS TO TAKE A LOOK BACK IN HISTORY TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE COUNTRY’S IPPS CAME ABOUT AS A RESULT OF THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORT TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF STABLE POWER SUPPLY AFTER THE LANDMARK 1992 BLACKOUT. LENDING A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE TO THE ISSUE OF IPPS IS FORMER TNB EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN TAN SRI ANI AROPE, WHO HEADED THE NATIONAL UTILITY FROM 1990 TO 1996. IT WAS DURING HIS TENURE THAT THE FIRST GENERATION IPPS WERE CREATED. STARBIZ DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU HAS THE STORY.

STARBIZ: WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE FIRST MAJOR BLACKOUT IN 1992?

ANI: TNB HAD PLANS IN PLACE TO PUMP OUT MORE ENERGY BY BUILDING PLANTS IN PASIR GUDANG AND PAKA. FINANCING WAS NO PROBLEM AND OUR CREDIT STANDING WAS VERY HIGH. WE HAD THE LAND ACQUIRED AND WERE READY TO MOVE IN AND PLANT UP.BUT WE WERE TOLD BY THE ECONOMIC PLANNING UNIT (EPU) THAT IT HAD ITS OWN PLANS. WE CAUTIONED EPU THAT IF THOSE PLANTS, WHICH WOULD TAKE TWO YEARS TO COMPLETE, WERE NOT BUILT, MALAYSIA WOULD GET ANOTHER MAJOR BLACKOUT. WHEN YOU HAVE A PLACE WITH 250 ENGINEERS, IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO SAY (THE BLACKOUT) IS BECAUSE OF POOR PLANNING. BUT THE EPU SAID IT HAD ITS OWN PLANS AND WE WERE TOLD TO SURRENDER THE LAND.THEN IT SURFACED THAT IT WANTED TO PRIVATISE THE POWER PLANTS. I AM NOT ANTI-IPPS PER SE. IT IS GOOD TO HAVE OTHER PLAYERS BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE FAIRLY. IT HAS TO BE FAIR TO THE CONSUMERS, NOT JUST TNB, WHICH IS A CONDUIT. TNB, BECAUSE OF THE ELECTRICITY HIKE, HAS BEEN TREATED AS THE WHIPPING BOY. THE FOCUS SHOULD BE ON THE CONSUMERS WHEN THE GENEROUS TERMS WERE GIVEN TO THE IPPS, ALL MY OTHER PEERS AROUND THE WORLD ASKED WHAT WAS HAPPENING. THEY SAID THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A SHARE IN THE IPPS. THEY SAID (THE CONTRACTS TO IPPS) WERE “TOO DARN GENEROUS.” (THE TERMS) WERE GROSSLY ONE SIDED.HOW WAS THE MALAYSIAN MODEL OF IPPS CREATED? ASK OUR PREVIOUS PRIME MINISTER.HOW WAS THE PROCESS OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH IPPS CONDUCTED?READMOREHTTP://MELAYUKINI786.WORDPRESS.COM/2011/05/29/MELAYU-CELUP-MENGHAMBAKAN-MELAYU-JATI/

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