TNB is a bright light to emulate, says PM

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  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2020

One of the magnificent prayer halls at the An-Nur Balai Islam. — Photos: NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star

SHEER hard work and detailed planning in the past has made Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) into the success story it is today, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“TNB as a government-linked company had an important role to play as the catalyst of change for the country for the past 70 years.

“Through the National Privatisation Policy introduced in 1983, the then National Electricity Board was listed to go through privatisation.

“The main reason for privatisation was to lessen the financial burden on the government. It was also believed that privatisation would be beneficial to the organisation, including its staff.

“More than 20,000 of TNB staff then became shareholders, enjoying a better salary structure and other perks, including bonuses.

“The service and productivity of TNB improved due to the reward system based on performance.

“Sixty percent of TNB shares were held by other government-linked investment companies such as the Employees Provident Fund, Tabung Haji, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and the Retirement Fund Inc, giving many benefits to the tens of millions of account holders in those bodies, ” said Dr Mahathir.

He was speaking at the launch of the Balai Islam Complex at TNB headquarters on Jan 16 in conjunction with the company’s 70th anniversary.

The Balai Islam is the first phase in the redevelopment of TNB headquarters, which has remained a fixture in the Bangsar neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur for the past seven decades.

TNB first started as the Central Electricity Board in 1949 before being renamed the National Electricity Board in 1965. In 1990, it was privatised and renamed Tenaga Nasional Berhad under Tan Sri Ani Arope.

During his speech, Dr Mahathir further stated that TNB’s good performance not only provided dividends to its own shareholders but the public too benefited when the bodies they put their savings into and contributed to also profited.

“As we look back at the changes and achievements of TNB since privatisation, we must realise that the success of TNB today is due to the hard work and past detailed planning, ” said Dr Mahathir.

He also said that TNB is not a mere local success but has proven itself to be on par with such bodies internationally.

“The World Bank report Doing Business 2020 stated that Malaysia has remained in fourth place for two years in a row in terms of getting electricity. This is among 190 countries, and our success is a big jump when we compare it with our 60th ranking in 2011.

“TNB managed to make this happen because it dared to make the change to go against the current and was steadfast in achieving its ambitions, ” said Dr Mahathir.

He also pointed out that TNB is also a global name to be reckoned with in electricty generation and referred to Britain and Turkey, especially when it won the best brand category in the energy industry for the third time running at the World Branding Awards 2019.

At the anniversary event, Dr Mahathir officiated over the renaming of the Balai Islam Complex to the An-Nur Balai Islam Complex, as part of TNB’s new headquarters.

Dr Mahathir also said that worldly success does not complete a man if the spiritual aspect is not fulfilled.

“This Balai Islam mirrors our need to be fulfilled spiritually. This fulfilment is not only a religious duty but this is what completes us as a human.

“We are not perfect as a human being if our spirituality is not filled with what our religion has set for us. However, in our race to fulfil our religious duty, we must also give the same stress to our physical wellbeing.

“This balance is what makes our life complete as Muslims.

“The weight on worship is the same as the need for us work and advance ourselves (in) worldly (terms), ” advised Dr Mahathir, who went on to tour the complex.

The new complex is set on 1.67ha on the grounds of TNB headquarters and was built to replace the old Balai Islam. A TNB statement said that it is designed not only to serve the thousands of TNB staff but also to cater to the local community’s needs around its Bangsar headquarters. The redevelopment project was funded together with nationwide staff donations of RM500,000.

Designed by Neuformation Architects with the cooperation of Woods Bagot, the project was undertaken by the Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) to replace the old building which could only accommodate a congregation of about 800 at one time.

The An-Nur Balai Islam Complex is a three-storey structure with three vast prayer rooms featuring intricate Islamic designs incorporated into the futuristic space.

According to TNB, the complex is built according to three Islamic concepts of moderation, inclusivity and respect with a modern twist. This is to ensure that while traditional mosque elements are retained, the design also caters to the changing times and needs of the people.

The complex can accommodate up to 2,850 people at one time, with the main prayer room able to pack in a congregation of 1,300. To ensure that the complex does not remain idle in between prayer times seminar rooms have been incoporated into the complex. There is also a cafeteria, funeral facilities, living quarters and ample parking lots.

As a part of TNB’s commitment to caring for the environment, the Green Building Index-certified complex has a low carbon footprint as it uses LED lighting and recycles rainwater for its needs. Using rainwater for ablutions and for other water needs around the complex is a unique concept in a house of worship in Malaysia.

“The system uses a 184sq m water tank which has a low pressure to ensure less wastage, ” said the TNB statement.

Also present at the event with the prime minister were Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin and other Cabinet ministers, TNB chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie, its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan and top management staff.

“We hope the An-Nur Balai Islam Complex will further strengthen the brotherhood among our TNB staff as well as our neighbours in our community in line with TNB’s aspiration to always be better and brighter, ” said Amir Hamzah.

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