Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Blackout affects studies, works of students


Students of higher learning institutes here were among those who were affected by the statewide blackout on Monday night. Most of them were in the midst of studying and completing assignments when the blackout occurred. Those who did not save their assignments on the computers were frustrated as they had to do it all over again. According to Mohd Afis Hissein, a college student, he and some friends were busy studying for their examination when the electricity supply was cut off. “Some of my friends were doing their work on the computers while others were doing research on the Internet. When the blackout happened, we were frustrated as we could not continue with our studies,” he said. A trainee from the Politeknik here also had the same experience and frustration as their studies had to be stopped because of the blackout. “We had to leave our homework unfinished and went to sleep early,” the student said. An officer from the Kota Kinabalu City Hall felt the same as she had some materials to prepare for a function today. “I was typing the materials when the power supply was cut off. It affected my preparation for the function today,” she said. For Siti Ning, a Legal Advisor, she thought the blackout was caused by some illegal activities. Rocky Mabin, a Government officer for the Inanam District - Court, pointed out that electricity disruptions are common in Sabah and should be rectified by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) as soon as possible. “These disruptions are a burden to consumers and business proprietors, thus the need to rectify the problem,” he said. Benjamin Basintal, a part-time lecturer from UMS, said the relevant authorities must look into the matter very seriously. “I have said earlier, do not wait for structures to collapse; be proactive and do frequent checks. Replace what needs be and solve the problem at the root. Other states in Malaysia do not have frequent electricity disruptions but why it happens in Sabah? “The State Government must look for other alternatives to solve the problem immediately and permanently by postponing other unimportant mega projects. Blackouts are adverse occurrences as they affect the entire fabric of a community. They cause chaos near traffic lights, security problem to home dwellers, endanger the lives of patients in hospitals, disrupt studies, business trade and most of all, tarnish the image of a nation when foreign tourists are affected,” he said. A few restaurant operators along Gaya Street when asked about the situation on Monday night, said it was a hectic time for them when the electricity went off. Most of their customers got up to leave the premises so their staff had a busy time collecting money from them before they left. Some of the business operators said they closed early to avoid any untoward incidents. The blackout also affected bus commuters who had a hard time seeing their stops as the streetlights were not functioning.