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Jakarta Post

Jokowi disappointed at PLN crisis management

  • Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman
    Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 5, 2019   /   10:28 am
Jokowi disappointed at PLN crisis management President Joko Widodo accompanied by (l-r) Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, And Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan during their meeting at PLN headquarter in Jakarta, Monday, August 5, 2019. The president ask for PLN clarification regarding the blackout in Jabodetabek on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo paid a visit to state electricity company PLN's office on Monday morning to convey his disappointment over the way the contingency plan, or lack thereof, was run at following the major blackout that hit Greater Jakarta and West Java.

Jokowi said for an incident that had happened before in the early 2000s in Java and Bali, there needed to be lessons learned that could be applied in the future, hence avoiding customer losses and inconvenience.

“In big [companies] such as PLN, I think, there should be risk management – a contingency plan, or a back up plan. My question is, why is it not working quickly and properly?” the President said. “This does not only hurt PLN's reputation but especially consumers.”

Jokowi further asked for transparency so as to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

“If there’s any deficiency [in PLN] please be upfront. We need to settle this once and for all,” added the President, who was accompanied by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, Information and Communications Minister Rudiantara, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung. State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno was not present.

A major blackout affected millions of homes and public facilities in Greater Jakarta and West Java on Sunday afternoon. The electricity went out at 11:50 a.m. for around eight hours and remained unstable and patchy until the time of writing. The blackout also affected commuter train services and the MRT.

PLN acting president director Sripeni Inten Cahyani replied to the President by promising that PLN would handle the incident thoroughly.

Jokowi ended his visit to PLN by urging the firm to work fast and to light up the remaining areas that were still blacked out, saying: "Just don't let it happen again. That's my only demand."