PETALING JAYA: As tempers flare over the pre-Christmas water cuts in Selangor, Barisan Nasional has come out to defend Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), saying the PKR-led state government should be questioned instead.
The BN strategic communications team in Putrajaya said in a statement today that DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok should stop shifting the blame to TNB and instead ask the state government why this water disruption was happening.
BN said records showed that TNB had requested this urgent maintenance exercise more than a year ago.
It had to face postponements at the requests of state bodies like Air Selangor and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).
The TNB maintenance work was first set for September this year but was postponed to early December at the request of Air Selangor and Syabas because of several unscheduled water cuts due to cases of burst pipes and water contamination at the time.
The maintenance was then postponed again from early this month to Dec 19, also at the request of Air Selangor and Syabas because they had their own scheduled downtime on Dec 6 for some upgrades.
“Teresa Kok is fully aware the Selangor government’s unit, Air Selangor, had fully taken over Syabas on Oct 15 last year and had immediately replaced the senior management team.
“The reality Kok continues to refuse to accept is that Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali had already admitted that the decision for the (TNB maintenance work) date was made by the Selangor government.
“She must now accept this reality and stop diverting the blame to TNB or the federal BN government; or imply that this is a religious issue.”
BN said if Kok still wanted to blame somebody, she should question the menteri besar instead.
Kok had criticised TNB, the federal government and the energy, green technology and water ministry over the water cut, calling it “insensitive” because it was happening close to Christmas.
Yesterday, Azmin had said the work could not be postponed any more and the necessary maintenance work needed to be done to avoid more serious water disruptions.
TNB carried out the 16-hour maintenance work at its Bukit Badong substation, that ended around midnight.
As a result three water treatment plants could only operate at 50% capacity using generator sets during the 16 hours, causing water supply disruption to 3.9 million residents in the Klang Valley.
Water supply is being restored in stages, with full supply only expected by Friday or Christmas Eve this Saturday.
BN, in its statement, said Syabas and end-users of critical public infrastructure also had the responsibility to have their own back-up generators and contingency plans in case of any scheduled or unscheduled power outages.
“TNB generator sets had been loaned to power … the power plants during this scheduled down-time, but TNB said its sets are not compatible with the older-generation power system of the water plants.
“Syabas had explained that its own generators were inadequate to fully power its own plants, which defeats the purpose of having back-up generators in the first place.
“For reasons best known to themselves, despite being aware of this TNB requirement for over a year and postponing the maintenance twice, Syabas did not take the initiative to buy or rent adequate power-generation sets,” BN added. -FMT