KUALA LUMPUR: Wednesday’s widespread blackout caused disruptions to the operations of hotels and malls, but some of them got by with back-up generators and others managed to pacify their frustrated customers and resorted to working manually.
Several states and many areas in the Klang Valley were without electricity after the outage that lasted from 12.40pm to around 3pm.
Malaysia Budget Hotel Association representative Andy Lau said the power failure disabled reception systems.
“As a result, the workers were unable to access details of their guests who were checking in and out.
“This caused a minor disruption as the process had to be done manually instead.
“Other than that, most activities continued as usual, and it was not as bad as during a water cut,” he said.
Lau added that budget hotels – rated two stars and below – were usually not equipped with a power generator.
“Unlike bigger hotels, we have limited space to install such a system, which is quite costly too,” he said.
Malaysia Budget and Business Hotel Association president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel said hotels, which are still recovering from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, should be compensated for any faulty appliances.
“Thankfully, we have yet to receive reports of any major incidents caused by the blackout,” he added.
He, however, lauded Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for resolving the issue quickly and providing regular updates on social media.
“Although some guests complained, they understood that it was a nationwide problem and outside of our control,” he said.
At the Sunway Velocity Mall in Cheras here, customers at certain sections of the parking lot were plunged into darkness for 15 minutes.
The mall’s branding and marketing director Darren Chear said its management team was ordered to activate the back-up generator immediately.
“Customers who were leaving were allowed to exit without paying for parking.
“However, facilities such as the lifts and escalators still worked despite the power outage.
“Fortunately, this incident did not happen on a weekend as the footfall would have been twice as high,” he said.
TNB had attributed the widespread outage to a fault at its Yong Peng North substation in Johor.
It said the disruption caused a loss of 2.2 gigawatts or 10% of demand in Peninsular Malaysia.
The utility provider assured its consumers that it was an isolated case and that the country’s electricity supply was reliable and stable enough for immediate power restoration.