Monday, March 15, 2010

'I'll quit if Sabah power woes go on'

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui has put his job on the line if Sabah's perennial power woes are not resolved by Dec 31 this year.

joseph pairin kitinganHe urged Sabah Deputy Chief Minister and State Infrastructure Development Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan (right) to “bear witness and stand together” with him on his public pledge.

Pairin has yet to respond and could not be immediately contacted for comment.

The fine print in Chin's offer - made in Kota Kinabalu over the weekend - is a target of considerably reducing the power disruption rate in Sabah by the end of the year.

NONE“If we fail to reach the target, then you can fire me. It will be up to the prime minister, but to resign would be the right thing to do,” said Chin, stressing that the federal government has pledged RM468 million to achieving the target.

He said state power monopoly Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) managing director Baharin Din “can also be asked to go at the same time”. Baharin has come under intense pressure to step down.

What Chin's offer means in practical terms is that the state will attain the System Average Interruption Duration Index target of 700 minutes per consumer this year. Last year's rate was an extraordinary 2,870 minutes per consumer.

Saying that the target will be among his Key Performance Index indicators, he apologised for the frequent disruptions in power supply.

Criticism dismissed

Chin dismissed criticism of the federal government's lack of foresight about Sabah's electricity problems.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had allegedly fostered an artificial energy shortage in the state when it was under an opposition government headed by PBS.

Power is a federal matter under Article 8 of the federal constitution. The state government has a 20 percent stake in SESB, a subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

abdul ghapur sallehKalabakan MP Ghapur Salleh (right) has vowed to raise Sabah's power woes again in Parliament although all his previous attempts, according to him, have fallen on deaf ears in Putrajaya.

State Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai and former Tawau MP Geoffrey Yee have since joined him in his campaign.

Ghapur himself is noted for spectacularly sacking himself publicly as Sabah deputy chief minister some years back after unilaterally deciding that he didn't 'measure up' at all.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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