Awang Tengah, Sarawak’s senior minister, is at it again: he reportedly said he want the state govt to extend electricity coverage to the remote rural areas! Consider these facts to help you make a judgement on his sincerity: 1. In his own constituency in Lawas the electricity coverage is almost 100%; but next to his constituency in Long Semadoh where the sitting Assemblyman is from the Opposition party, the electricity coverage could be less than half! 2. The state government has been leaving electricity supply to its privatised-then-nationalised utility Sarawak Energy -which says openly that they are into profit making electricity sales-so rural electrification had been left to Federal government under the rural ministry. So has the state government just changed colour to undertake non-profit making rural electrification? Or that the state election is around the corner?
Sarawak Ministry to Work With SEB, JKR to Provide Electricity in Rural Areas
The Ministry of Public Utilities plans to collaborate with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Public Works Department (PWD) to extend electricity supply to remote and isolated areas in the state, reported The Borneo Post.
Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said he would present a paper on the initiative to the state Cabinet soon.
“If the state Cabinet agrees with the proposal, then we can we proceed and let both SEB and PWD to become the implementing agencies to supply electricity to the very remote and isolated areas in the state which are not connected to the grid,” Awang Tengah told The Borneo Post after chairing a meeting with the media at his office on March 8.
He said the state government’s main concern now was to look for the best solution to assist those who were still depending on generator sets which were deemed too expensive for the rural people.
He added that among the possible solutions to address the situation were to provide alternative sources of electricity such as mini hydroelectricity dams and solar energy.
“Our main focus now is to provide electricity supply to the rural areas, hoping that by 2020, we will be able to achieve 100 per cent electricity supply coverage to every household in the state.”
To achieve the target, he said the government must adopt the same policy as the federal government through the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) approach to find the best possible solution.