Power blackout whistleblower Ani dies

Tenaga man who fell from grace for standing up against govt collusion with power producers. Free Malaysia Today has the story ..

ani aropeKUALA LUMPUR: Power blackout whistleblower Tan Sri Ani Arope, former executive chairman of Tenaga Nasional, died early morning of 20 December from prostate cancer. He was 83.

Family, friends and members of the public can pay their last respects at Balai Islam TNB, Jalan Bangsar from 11am, and his body will be buried at the Shah Alam cemetery after 1pm. Condolences can also be posted on Ani Arope or Sakinah Ani Arope’s Facebook page.

In his memoirs published last year, the late Tan Sri Ani made explosive disclosures about government collusion in power blackouts that took place in 1992 that led to crony companies becoming independent power producers to Tenaga Nasional at higher rates than Tenaga’s own production.

Ani wrote that Tenaga could produce power at 8 sen per unit (or kiloWatt-hour), delivered to the consumer at 17 sen a unit. However, independent power producers pegged their rate at 23 sen, which would cause Tenaga to charge consumers at least 30 sen a unit.

The 143-page book Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope, produced with the help of two members of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Malaysia, was launched in July at the association’s 50th anniversary dinner. Ani was Malaysia’s first Fulbright scholar.

Ani revealed that he had been pressured into signing a deal surrendering Tenaga land to third parties for power plants. “There was no negotiation; absolutely none. Instead of talking directly with the IPPs, TNB was sitting down with the EPU (Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department). And we were harassed, humiliated and talked down every time we went there. After that, my team was disappointed. The EPU just gave us the terms and asked us to agree. I said no way I would.”

His opposition to the “way too generous” deals for the power producers would lead to his removal from TNB, which he decribes in his memoirs.

Ani also dealt with the matter of race relations and the Malay privileges, saying “it appears that these rights have been skewered to benefit the privileged Malays. The rural folk and those who really need help are getting the smallest of crumbs, if at all”.

“It is convenient to put the blame for this prejudice and bigotry as part of the legacy of the former colonial masters,” he said in a speech to Fulbright scholars. “However, the reality is that much of this prejudice and bigotry are our own making and enforced by interested parties driven by fear-based environment. These parties need to perpetuate the prejudice and bigotry to exist, because these, whether real, perceived or invented, are the reasons that justify the existence of these extreme chauvinistic groups.”

In his speech, which forms a chapter in his memoirs, Ani called for open discussion of issues. “We may disagree, but we must understand that healthy disagreements would help build better decisions,” he said. ”We must be prepared to discuss our value systems and our priorities. We should not feel embarrassed to talk of the shortcomings amongst us…”


Al Fatihah