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I found that pressing the power button for longer (~1.0 - 1.5 seconds), is a workaround to the issue, although the shutdown sequence takes more than half a minute only to be initiated!
Definitely, something must be wrong. It can be the 128 pin power management IC, but I have no idea. I am planning to replace this damned IC, but I must first get hold of the right soldering/desoldering equipment.
Regarding the previous post asking about the functionality of the power button in grub, it should be noted that grub uses a different kernel stripped down to suit a bootloader. However, there is nothing wrong in testing during my next reboot.
When grub boots and shows its menu, pressing the power button does not do anything! However, if I hold the power button for more than 3 seconds, the laptop turns itself off.
sounds like you want to configure acpi. You can do this independently of kde. Have a look at /etc/acpi/powerbtn-acpi-support.sh (and other files in this directory). Also checking /var/log/syslog may help you see what is happening when you press the power button.
The power button should work in Grub, so this seems to be a hardware problem or a misconfiguration in the BIOS. Holding the power-button down for 4 seconds is some kind of emergency shutdown, so that this works means at least that the power button is working correctly.
Before changing ICs I would try to reset the BIOS and look if anything changes.