Thursday, August 6

‘Sarawak to have full 24-hour electricity coverage by 2020’


Dr Abdul Rahman speaks to reporters after launching the Pantai Damai Community Centre at Buntal Square.

KUCHING: All Sarawakians should be able to enjoy 24-hour electricity supply by 2020, ahead of the initial target of 2025.

Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi is very optimistic of this, stating that Sarawak has achieved electricity supply coverage of 91 per cent so far.

Works are still underway to power up the remaining nine per cent – or a total of 30,000 households.

“The majority of households that have yet to receive electricity (supply) are those located in very remote areas.

“We are able to connect rural households located nearer to the town areas with the main grid.

“The second grid is almost complete – it will be launched in the near future and should be able to supply 500 kilowatt per hour (kWh) of electricity (to areas) from Sematan to
Lawas,” he told reporters after launching the Pantai Damai Community Centre at Buntal Square, Jalan Sultan Tengah here Saturday.

Dr Abdul Rahman, who is Pantai Damai assemblyman, said to ensure that electricity could be supplied to households across Sarawak, the government had established Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) in 2016.

Since then, he said many residents in the rural and remote areas have been enjoying electricity generated via solar panel system.

Back in the days, many rural folk had to rely on generator sets, which were not only expensive to maintain but also had many weaknesses.

Sares, on the other hand, is provided by the Sarawak government through Sarawak Energy Bhd.

“We hope to be able to supply electricity to the whole of Sarawak ahead of the 2025 target, through the completion of the second (phase of the power) grid and Sares,” said Dr Abdul Rahman.

Meanwhile, the assistant minister was upset by the statement made by the federal Minister of Rural Development Rina Harun about the re-evaluation of all projects previously approved for Sarawak.

According to him, all of these projects are important to Sarawakians, who do not want any of it be discontinued as claimed by Rina.

“If possible, we would like to request (Rina) to come to Sarawak, especially to the rural areas that are in critical need of public infrastructures such as roads and bridges.

“Sarawak needs more funds and attention (from the federal government) than other states in Malaysia. It is not fair to ask Sarawak government to come up with the funds as Sarawak contributes greatly to national revenue,” Dr Abdul Rahman pointed out.