TNB left holding the Bakun undersea cable baby


Power demand is dropping as the economic slowdown creeps up on us, but TNB is being forced to pay more in capacity charges to IPPs and take over the laying of the Bakun undersea cables (to transmit even more electricity to the peninsula) after Sime Darby wisely pulled out.

By the way, TNB is 38 per cent owned by the Finance Ministry’s Khazanah and 14 per cent owned by EPF.  So guess who is ultimately bearing the risk? Us.

A political economist has sent the following comment to me.

TNB is complaining that Peninsula Malaysia is going to have 45 per cent excess capacity within the next eight months. TNB also says that this excess capacity is due to the Jimah IPP coming online in January 2009. Given the terms of the IPP between Jimah and TNB, TNB expects to see a drop of about RM500 million from their overall profit margin since the IPP contract cannot be re-negotiated. TNB actually also said that they do not need the excess power but have to buy it. See story here.

Amazingly, this is going to happen within the context of a decline in power demand in Peninsula Malaysia which is set to drop with the coming downturn..! See this power demand drop story here.

To add salt to injury, Tenaga is ALSO being forced by the Federal Govt to foot the bill for the Bakun Undersea Cable to supply even more excess electricity capacity to the Peninsula. See story here.

Now, you tell me, how responsible is this kind of BN approach to development when we are facing a severe downturn? To me, it seems as if the Federal Govt loves its IPP cronies and Sarawak BN cronies more than ordinary suffering electricity consumers. Is this not theft of public resources via officialdom?

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anak watan

luckily there is jimah power plant. since today the nation is begging more power. and still tnb need to fire open cycle power plant and diesel to cater the demand. tnb ceo is an accountant, what he really care is money.he is not an engineer,that’s why he bear to risk the power grid (national securities) for the money. now everybody who said something like what u said in ur article just shut up.and never praise the government for thinking a lot lot lot smarter than pembangkang who always cari salah.. cakap pom pang2,and now just shut up

Sam Gopal

Anil is a great journalist! Whatever said and done, he practices what he preaches, allowing all opinions to be published. The problem is that, Malaysians are still in the infancy stage, unable to appreciate the differing opinions and views. Don’t bash Anil if you disagree with his ideology. Discuss objectively, and leave personal comments aside. Attack the problem and not the person. Personal attacks do not solve our problems. We are all int he same boat


We can’t renegotiatiate the IPP contracts and we can’t charge them a windfall tax. Whose side is BN on? The M… set us up real good.


It is not bashing, sometimes in the complex malaysian scenario, people do stray away and we, the rakyat, just steer them back.

Keep up the good work Anil, Cheers


In 2007 there was a tariff hike from TNB. IPP contracts being renegotiated were the sound bites coming from BN politicians and their TNB appointees to fend off criticism at that time.

Almost 2 years on, there is no change. Except BN appointees at TNB are now making noises about the Jinmah plant and the extra costs – a prelude to another hike? Meanwhile, the IPPs laugh all the way to the bank.


oversupply and it still maintains that costly.

mind-blogging. just against all the economic theory.

malaysia truly boleh.

again another (money-making) scheme by BN.


Anil does not deserve the negative bashing. He is a good and objective journalist, giving his readers informative and useful material.

I wish there were more journalist like him out there who actually provoke intellectual thought.

The term petty and lame are relative. What is petty to you, maybe important to me.

I for one, want to know how my hard earned money is kept safely by the EPF.


The Dam is just a smoke screen to cart out the precious timber.



Anil deserve some or most of the negative bashing recently because even the politically neutral can tell the difference between objective critiques, bashing for bashing’s sake and worst, sheer pettiness.

Some will cheer for a while when they see issues raised against those on the other side of the political fence but after a while, they start to wonder “Yes but isn’t picking on [that issue]kinda lame/petty/stooping too low?”


Don’t forget, there’s another 12 dam planned to be build. Sarawak has been turned into a power making state, but sadly, all the powers generated will be directed to Penisula, it’s time for another great awakening with the State election coming

Andrew I

Judging by the number of negative comments being posted, it doesn’t seem that you’re the flavour of the month, Anil. I’m sure there’ll be some people, without mentioning any names, that will find a justification for this excess, though I hope, not on religious grounds. It’s the whole idea, isn’t it? Why have friends when you can’t profit off them? It’s the same idea that being over zealously religious serves as some kind of insurance policy that will guarantee you a place in heaven. I’d like to give God a little more credit than that. Now that the government orphanage… Read more »