PM: TNB to power ahead as single entity

Business Times, March 8, 2013


NAJIB'S GUARANTEE: Its status as Malaysia's premier utility company will be maintained

THE government yesterday dismissed speculation that Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will be split into separate companies.

"I know there have been talks of late of the government intending to split TNB into companies to handle the supply of electricity. I am denying this," said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during his second working visit in less than six months to TNB's headquarters, here.

He said the National Economic Action Council, in a recent meeting, had made its decision not to break up TNB.

"I am giving my guarantee that TNB's status as the country's premier utility company will be maintained and one day, we want it to see it as a premier regional player, too," Najib said to the applause of more than 3,000 TNB employees.

Rumours on the breaking up of TNB resurfaced late in 2011 when it was facing an additional RM3 billion in costs due to a shortage of gas supply.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Loo Took Gee had then confirmed that the government was studying the matter.

Najib said the success of the government's Economic Transformation Programme will, among others, depend on TNB remaining a reliable supplier of electricity now and in the future.

"We are not just talking about the supply of quality electricity but also a reasonable tariff that will boost the confidence of investors."

Najib added that to date, TNB has met the government's aspirations and commended the company for lowering its power interruption rate to 40 per cent while improving its reliability rate by 20 per cent.

He said with such performances, TNB's more than four months bonus for its staff was timely and apt.

Najib also announced a new TNB executive staff remuneration scale that will take effect at end of the month and will benefit 5,000 employees.