Businesses express discomfort over power glitch

  • Business
  • Friday, 14 Jan 2005


MEMBERS of the business community contacted by StarBiz generally expressed discomfort and slight dissatisfaction over the power glitch affecting Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Malacca yesterday. 

The power cut, which was due to a switchgear failure at Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah power station in Kapar, Selangor, resulted in a loss of 1,700Mw of electricity.  

It started at 12.16pm, and power was finally restored in stages from as early as 2.30pm and the latest 6.30pm. 

Despite the short-lived power failure, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Datuk Mustafa Mansur said many businesses, especially those operating fully automated plants such as electronics and electrical, automotive and robotics were affected to a certain extent.  

“Why must manufacturers pay the price for going fully automated when the utility provider slackens?” he said.  

He said while the Government was pushing companies to go for full automation, which literally means increasing the usage of electricity, the power provider must also try to keep abreast with the phase of technology advancement and supply the capacity needed. 

Mustafa hoped the power glitch was just a one-off incident and that TNB would seriously look into the matter. 

Datuk Mustafa Mansur

American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) president Datuk Tim Tariq Garland concurred with Mustafa, saying that the business community “will try not to make the incident into such a big issue for now.” 

“We will try to understand why this thing happened and what has been done to ratify it,” he added. 

So far, no complaints had been received from Amcham members on the power glitch, said Garland. 

Malaysian Automobile Association president Aishah Ahmad said: “I believe many production lines in the automobile plant came to a standstill when the power cut occurred.” 

“It would have been severely damaging, resulting in massive losses to automobile assemblers if the power failure had been prolonged,” she added.  

Meanwhile, a Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) spokesperson said the power glitch resulted in a one-hour production loss at the company's Shah Alam plant while its Tanjung Malim plant in Perak was not affected. 

Between 8am and 5pm, the Shah Alam plant produced about 800 automobiles.  

Reports of halting output was also said to have occurred at the Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd plant in Malacca.  

Meanwhile, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) managing director Syed Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar confirmed that the Perodua production line in Rawang was not affected by the power glitch. 

Aisha Ahmad

Some banks were believed to have experienced disruption in its business transactions and automated teller machine (ATM) operation.  

However, PUBLIC BANK BHD and Affin Bank Bhd reported no problems arising from the power failure. 

Malaysian Electronic Payment System (1997) Sdn Bhd (MEPS) general manager Mohd Suhail Amar Suresh said in a statement that there was absolutely “no disruption” or “down time” in its operations during the power failure. 

”MEPS' backup electricity supply was automatically activated when the incident occurred and this allowed MEPS to operate as normal,” he said. 

Bursa Malaysia said in a statement the power failure had not affected trading on the stock exchange. 

Power supply at the exchange was restored at about 4pm.  

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