Sabah Gears Up for Energy Independence

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is gearing up for a major transformation in its power sector, as the regulatory control of electricity supply will be transferred to the state beginning in 2024.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai described this as a “monumental step” in the state’s journey towards energy independence and a catalyst for change, setting the stage for a brighter and more empowered Sabah.

“Under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, Sabah is poised to enter a new era of self-sufficiency in power generation,” said Yee.

“This is not just a transfer of authority; it’s the opening of new doors of opportunities for economic growth, sustainability, and improving the quality of life for the people of Sabah.”

Yee credited Chief Minister Hajiji for his silent yet relentless efforts to secure this transfer.

“There’s an adage that actions speak louder than words. While others may have only talked, Hajiji worked silently and tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring that agreements were secured and the foundation was laid for real change,” he said.

The Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) chairman further highlighted how this move will enable Sabah to reassess and renegotiate contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

“Sabah has, for too long, borne the burden of inflated rates due to unfavourable contracts with IPPs,” he noted.

“The Chief Minister’s pioneering effort will empower the state to forge balanced and fair contracts that serve the best interests of our people.”

Notably, the transfer of regulatory control is seen as a turning point for Sabah’s perennial power supply problem. Sabah’s reliance on IPPs has been blamed for high energy costs and an unreliable power supply.

With regulatory control, Sabah can take a multifaceted approach, including investing in new technologies, leveraging natural resources, and implementing renewable energy projects.

“The endorsement of the Sabah Generation Development Plan by Hajiji is testament to his commitment to addressing the critical shortage of power generation capacity head-on,” Yee added.

“The focus on Large-Scale Solar power production and the exploration of the hydroelectric potential reflects a sustainable and progressive vision.”

The former Sustainable Development Authority of Malaysia (SEDA) chairman also emphasised that the transfer is expected to spur economic activities and investments in Sabah.

“Industries need a reliable power supply, and Hajiji is ensuring that Sabah will provide just that. We anticipate a surge in investments and economic activities as a result of these changes,” he said.

He said this development should be seen as a moment of pride for all of Sabah, as the state charts a course for a future that is not only energy independent but also economically prosperous and sustainable.

“On behalf of the people of Sabah, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Hajiji for his unwavering commitment and leadership in realising this long-cherished dream.”

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