Last stand August 17, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Environment, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
One’s often told that the “People are the Bosses”.
Two years ago, TNB proposed to construct a high tension power transmission line which would cut across several residential areas in Rawang, including the Rawang New Village and Lim Kim Sai Village. Some of the villagers have lived here before Independence.
Initially, there was a small transmission cable (33kW) erected there. TNB of that time said it would only be temporary and would be removed. That was 50 years ago. In 2005, TNB said they would upgrade to 275kW.
Residents there formed an Action Committee against High Tension Transmission Cable and proposed an alternative route which would go through agricultural land and forests, not residential areas. TNB rejected their proposal, with no reasons provided.
The irony can’t be missed. Lim Kim Sai was a giant in MCA and one of the villages was named in his honour. MCA represents the state constituency whereas their Parliament rep is Chan Kong Choy, the Transport Minister, who is currently in a very deep hole, over the Bukit Gantang bus tragedy and the mega-scandal in a place called the Port Klang Free Zone.
The residents of Rawang New Village received a notice of eviction from TNB under Section 13 of the Electricity Supply Act 1990 to seize their land for the construction of the power line.
Section 13 of the Power Supply Act reads:
13. Maintenance, repair and upgrading of installation.
Whenever it is necessary so to do for the purpose of maintaining, repairing or upgrading any licensed installation or any part thereof, …
equipment have been erected,…and may, in the course thereof, fell or lop trees, remove vegetation and do all other things necessary to the said purpose causing as little damage as possible and paying full compensation in accordance with section 16 to all persons interested for any damage that may be caused…
Section 13 is not meant for major installation. For that, TNB needs to use Section 11:
11. Power to enter on land for purpose of construction.
(1) Subject to as hereinafter provided, whenever it is necessary so to do for the purpose of installing any system of distribution of electricity under this Act, a licensee may lay, place or carry on, under or over any land, other than State land, such as post and other equipment as may be necessary or proper for the purposes of the licensed installation,… paying full compensation…for disturbance, damage or disability that may be caused…
However, there are provisions of consultation and notification as specified:
(2) Before entering on any land… the licensee shall give a notice stating as fully and accurately as possible the nature and extent of the acts intended to be done. The notice…shall specify a date upon which the State Authority shall inquire into any objection that may have been as hereinafter provided.
(3) The aforesaid notice shall be given—
(a) in the case of alienated land, to the owner or occupier,
(b) in the case of reserved land, to the officer or any other person in charge…
Subsection 4, 6 and 7 outlines the right of the residents to be consulted, to object and to appeal. Perhaps this is why TNB isn’t using Section 11, but going through the easy backdoor of Section 13.
We have been informed that TNB bulldozers and the police, are ready to move in tomorrow.
“Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka ke-50”
Try telling that to these good folks of Rawang.
(Maybe Petronas could make the above story into one of its tv commercials?)