Black-out in Sarawak

I felt amused when I read in Borneo Post today quoting our Chief Minister saying that the Satureday blackout was "nothing compared to that in New York city, USA, in 1965".

The first question that came to my mind was, "Are we comparing ourselves with the 1960s' USA?". Our Chief Minister might as well say that it is only few hours' of "no electricity", not as bad as the times when there was no electricity.

From the explanation of Awang Tengah, it seems that the power outage was due to the shutting down of Circuit 1 between Sibu and Bintulu. In the press statement, Awant Tengah also said that:
"Due to insufficient generation capacity to meet the load demand in Kuching-Sibu sub-system, the generators in Batang Ai and Sejingkat Power Corporation (SPC) tripped, causing blackout in areas in Kuching, Sri Aman and Sibu."

If the shutting down of Circuit 1 will have such repercussion, why did the SESCO technicians not know the effect before the shutting down of Circuit 1. So much talk about the increased eficiency of SESCO after privatisation.

Before privatisation of SESCO, there is only one such state-wide blackout. It lasted for less than half an hour and was during the vote-counting of the 1999 General Election (during the height of the reformasi movement and a critical moment for BN).

After privatisation of SESCO, we see the industrial electricity tariff sky-rocketed. We still have the most expensive domestice electricity tariff. We see the connection fee charged by SESCO sky-rocketed, collecteral deposit charged by SESCO remains very unreasonable. In short, the consumers pay more to SESCO after privatisation.

But what happened on Satureday exposed that, with all such increased payment, we do not have a better and more efficient system. Where has our additional payment gone to?

On a lighter note, 9 months after the 1965 New York blackout, there was a surge in birth rate in Nedw York. Whether blackout has the same effect in Sarawak, we wait and see. Statistics will tell in 9 months' time.