Sabah Won't Let SESB Stake
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The State Cabinet has never intended to sell or let go of its interest in the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to outsiders, assured Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
He said the future of the loss-making SESB has yet to be discussed by the State Cabinet.
"What the Government wants to see is all efforts can be taken towards improving the situation faced by the company that will eventually lead to a decision that benefits all stakeholders.
"For me personally, SESB is important to this developing State," said Pairin.
His Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Raymond Tan had also assured on Tuesday that the State Government would continue to take the initiative to ensure that the company is sustainable, including to discuss with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), concerning stake ownership.
TNB holds an 82 per cent stake in SESB, while the remaining 18 per cent by the State Government.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili announced at the end of December last year that SESB was on the verge of insolvency.
He had also said the utility company's fate would hinge on ongoing discussions among Tenaga Nasional Berhad, his Ministry and the Ministry of Finance, as the major stakeholders.
Meanwhile, reports about the SESB's financial situation have raised anxiety among its 3,500 employees, prompting its employees union to demand for inclusion in discussions concerning the situation currently faced by the company.
Union President Azhar Datuk M.Y Ahmad confirmed in a statement Wednesday that the union has not been briefed or invited to discussions officially by any relevant party with regard to the SESB's situation.
He said members of the union are non-executive SESB employees in Sabah and Labuan.
It is learnt that nearly 100 per cent of the employees are Sabahans.
Daily Express has reported that a closed-door discussion will be held today (Thursday) to look into details and challenges with regard to electricity supply in Sabah by SESB and to come up with suggestions on how to resolve them.
It was learnt that part of the discussion would be on the company's future, including the possibility of it being sold.
It was not known who the potential buyer is if at all it would be sold although a sale could be the only way for the utility company to crawl out of its financial troubles.