Monday, July 29, 2013

Awang Tengah: Sarawak can sue Federal govt over June 27 blackout

BY YU JI thestar KUCHING: The Sarawak government is mulling legal action against the Federal government, which owns and operates the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam that has been determined as the cause of the statewide blackout last month. Sarawak Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan on Friday said legal action was an option. "Based on the commercial agreement we have between Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) and Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, we can take legal action," Awang Tengah told reporters when asked about the preliminary findings on the June 27 blackout that made regional headlines. Awang Tengah, also Second Resources Planning and Environment Minister, declined to comment on the likelihood of the state government pressing ahead with legal action. "We are getting the independent consultant to find out what was the root cause (at the dam). We will discuss with the federal government on measures to take to ensure no more reoccurrence. Awang Tengah said the blackout, which plunged the whole of Sarawak except Limbang into darkness, has affected public confidence in SEB, a state-owned entity. "Too many people, when the blackout happened, blamed SEB when in fact Bakun (hydroelectric dam) is a separate entity under Sarawak Hidro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated Malaysia. "SEB and all the users were affected," he said. Sarawak Hidro was established on May 1, 2000, to develop and manage the Bakun Hydroelectric project. The mega dam, one of the largest in the world outside of China, began building the early 1990s, decades after proposals were first talked about in the 1960s. However, construction was halted following the 1997 Asian financial crisis. By the time Sarawak Hidro was set up to resume construction, the initial aim to provide power to Peninsula Malaysia was scrapped. Three years ago, the federal and Sarawak governments formalised an agreement to dedicate the entire power supply from Bakun to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. The deal was widely perceived by Sarawakians as a major boon. Within two years, SEB and state officials sold all 1,800MW of the dam's power to a series of energy intensive factories, including aluminium smelters. During the blackout, one of the smelter plants suffered catastrophic damages. A plant in Mukah comprising 200 smelting pots, believed to consume about 300MW, will be shut down for at least six months for repairs. In the days following the power disruption, SEB made clear in a series of public statements that it was not the cause of the blackout. The company repeatedly blamed "the frequency drop [at Bakun] created by the tripping of the three units that led to the shutdown of all our power stations". "The problem happened because of Bakun only. The blackout was entirely due to problems arising from Bakun. For 10 seconds, there was a big drop of 600MW. That affected the entire system and then the total blackout happened," Awang Tengah said. The preliminary findings on the blackout were presented to the Finance Ministry on July 18. SEB, Sarawak Hidro and a private consultant firm, Poyry Engineering Sdn Bhd, each presented separate reports. Interestingly, the Finance Ministry's Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah indicated at a recent press conference that the Sarawak government was aware of possible irregularities with Bakun prior to the blackout. “The engagement of the consultant is the result of a letter from the Chief Minister to the Prime Minister more than two months ago. The state government had requested for the consultation before it (blackout) happened,” Irwan had said.

Bakun Dam not cause of June 27 outage — Sarawak Hidro

Borneo Post July 29, 2013, Monday
KUCHING: Sarawak Hidro Berhad has again defended the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam as not the probable cause for the June 27 statewide blackout.
In a statement issued yesterday, Sarawak Hidro managing director Zulkifle Osman said the blackout may have been due to other factors.
“Bakun plants’ drop in load would not have caused a blackout. There could be other contributing factors such as system under frequency load shedding scheme, response of other power plants in the system, and stress condition of the transmission network,” he said.
The statement was issued in the wake of the possible move by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to sue Sarawak Hidro for the frequent blackouts including the statewide blackout on June 27.
Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan had said on Friday the legal recourse was one of the moves being looked into as it is provided under SEB’s power purchase agreement with Sarawak Hidro.
Awang Tengah had also said review of initial incident reports from both SEB and Sarawak Hidro and initial site investigations conducted by officers from the Electrical Inspectorate Unit of the ministry confirmed that the blackout originated from Bakun.
Awang Tengah explained it happened because of Bakun’s three generating units’ sudden and uncontrolled drop in load of about 650MW, while SEB’s system was not capable of supporting three large, simultaneous tripping of Bakun generating units.
However, according to Zulkifle, Sarawak Hidro, including Alstom engineering design and expert, to date have yet to conclude the findings into the cause of the blackout.
He said it was due to pending information from the relevant parties in Sarawak such as on sequence of events, disturbance records and other power plant behaviour during the incident.
Alstom is a leading energy solutions and transport company headquarted in France, which is active in the field of hydroelecric power generation.
On media report that the Public Utilities Ministry is appointing its independent consultant, he said Sarawak Hidro welcomes the move and hopes this exercise will be the check and balance of the whole scenario in Sarawak.
“And we hope we can compare notes to improve for the benefit of Sarawak. The findings of the study should be used to enforce Bakun’s plants as well as other defence plan in the grid system to avoid risks of another system collapse in the future,” he said.
The consultant, said to be international, was announced by Awang Tengah to undertake the independent study to identify the underlying factors contributing to the recent blackout incident and the measures to mitigate the incident.
It is expected to complete by end of August.
Zulkifle also said an independent consultant had been appointed by the federal Ministry of Finance to look into Bakun’s plants and Sarawak system. “However, the report is pending input from relevant parties,” he explained.
Despite what had happened between them, he assured discussions on technical and commercial matters are conducted between Sarawak Hidro and SEB on continuous basis.
SEB is Sarawak government-owned energy company, while Sarawak Hidro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated Malaysia under the federal government which owns, operates and manages Bakun.
The June 27 blackout which started during evening peak hours plunged most of Sarawak into darkness for several hours, and in some places until the next morning.
The business community were the worst affected by it as operations had to be shutdown.
Awang Tengah had also said the blackout had affected public confidence on SEB.

Sarawak peningkatan pelanggan baru Astro tertinggi di Malaysia sebanyak 40% namun 'content' dari berita Astro dari Sarawak amat sedikit

Rompakan 'stealth' 4 orang sepasukan di Ampang Point, Kuala Lumpur

YB Datuk Rohani Karim mempertahankan pengemis yang berusaha dan berjual

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We came to form Malaysia as an independent nation NOT a STATE like Johor, Pahang etc and I hope the FEDERAL LEADERSHIP is aware of this piece of Malaysian history - Tan Sri Dr James Masing

Better deal for Dayaks under special scheme

by Johnson K Saai & Peter Sibon, Posted on July 23, 2013, Tuesday
INDEPENDENCE DAY TREE: Taib watering the Bucidamolinetti tree he has just planted to mark Independence Day while other cabinet members and dignitaries look on. Photo by Mohd Rais Sanusi
KUCHING: Dayaks can now expect a bigger piece of cake from the government following a decision by the State Cabinet to constitute a special programme to develop the community.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the special Cabinet meeting at the new State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex in Petra Jaya here yesterday, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud revealed that the matter was decided at the special meeting.
He acknowledged that since Independence, Dayaks in the state had been left behind and with this special programme the community should be able to help escalate the government’s education plan to produce many intellectuals in the country.
“We want to help the Dayaks as over the years they have shown that they are willing to work together with their leaders in the government and also try to reorganise their assets.
“So this programme is more in line with providing better opportunities to further their studies in the discipline they prefer because the Malays have done theirs through collaboration between private institutions and the government,” he said.
Giving credit to his deputy Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu for forwarding the issue to the Cabinet, Taib however did not go into detail as to how and when the special programme will be implemented.
Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing when commenting on the matter opined that the community deserves greater attention from both the state and federal governments.
“Sarawakians must understand that we came to form Malaysia as an independent nation not a state like Johor, Pahang, etc and I hope the federal leadership is aware of this piece of Malaysian history,” he said.
Masing, who is Land Development Minister, also opined that Sarawak deserves bigger allocation from the federal government because it is a region in Malaysia and not an ordinary state.
Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin, on the other
hand, said ‘nothing special’ transpired during the Cabinet meeting.
“Nothing special, just to mark July 22 as the date Sarawak got its independence from the British,” he said, clarifying that Sarawak was an independent nation for 57 days and not 77 days as earlier reported – from July 22, 1963 to September 16, 1963 to form Malaysia.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sarawak Independent for 77 days before HELPING to FORM (not apply to join) Malaysia

Sarawak independent for 77 days – Masing

by Samuel Aubrey Posted on July 22, 2013, Monday
KUCHING: The fact that Sarawak was once an independent nation was acknowledged by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
According to him, the state was an independent nation for 77 days after shedding the yoke of British colonialism in 1963.
“From 22nd July, 1963 to 16th September, 1963, Sarawak was an independent nation. And then, we joined three other entities – Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form Malaysia.  For 77 days, we were an independent nation while Sukarno and Communist Party in Indonesia were planning to take Sarawak.
“We escaped their grip by forming Malaysia. How fortunate,” he said in his SMS to The Borneo Post yesterday.
Having said that, he wondered why some Sarawakians seemed not to feel fortunate over the formation of Malaysia.
The Sarawak government has decided to re-enact the handing over of administration by the British colonial government to the Sarawak government in a special pantomime to be staged at a ceremony in Kuching Waterfront today.
The pantomime will be staged by more than 60 local actors who play the part of the British governor and the local state officials.
The lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of the Sarawak flag will be held on the roof top of the 134-year-old Kuching Square Tower.
Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud are scheduled to grace the ceremony, which is also to be attended by other cabinet ministers and dignitaries.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pakatan failkan satu petisyen pilihanraya sahaja di Sarawak

Bantahan awal petisyen Parlimen Baram didengar pada 1 Ogos

Utusan Borneo July 16, 2013, Tuesday
MIRI: Mahkamah Pilihan Raya menetapkan 1 Ogos depan untuk mendengar dan menentukan bantahan awal yang dibangkitkan dalam petisyen pilihan raya bagi kerusi Parlimen Baram yang difailkan Roland Engan daripada Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Hakim Pilihan Raya Chew Soo Ho yang juga merupakan hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu membuat keputusan itu semasa pengurusan kes petisyen terbabit semalam yang dibuat melalui sidang video.
Pada sidang video itu, Roland diwakili peguam belanya, See Chee How manakala Anyi yang merupakan responden pertama diwakili peguam bela Henry Ling Kuong Meng.
Manakala responden kedua, Joseph Belayong Punan yang juga pegawai daerah Marudi diwakili Peguam Kanan Persekutuan (SFC) Mahiran Mohd Isa dan Asha Hoe.
Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (PRU13) pada 5 Mei lalu, menyaksikan pertandingan tiga penjuru di kerusi Parlimen P.220 Baram iaitu antara calon Barisan Nasional (BN) Anyi Ngau, Patrick Sibat (Bebas) dan Roland (PKR).
Roland tewas kepada muka baharu, Anyi Ngau yang juga merupakan bekas pegawai daerah Limbang dengan memperolehi undi sebanyak 8,988 berbanding Anyi, 9,182 undi.
Manakala Patrik hanya mendapat 363 undi dan hilang wang deposit.
Petisyen Pilihan Raya Baram merupakan satu-satunya petisyen yang difailkan pihak pembangkang di Sarawak.

YB Datuk Rohani Karim mengangkat sumpah di parlimen

Yb Datuk James Dawos Mamit menggulung perbahasan di sidanng parlimen

Timbalan Menteri YB Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi menjawab soalan di sidang parlimen