Penang will still enjoy the lowest water tariffs in Malaysia. (En/Cn)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 4 April 2014.

I am not surprised that New Straits Times and the mainstream media has politicised the state government’s decision to raise water tariffs instead of focusing on our main intention of reducing water consumption to avoid water rationing in future. The mainstream media had either selectively published distorted and inaccurate information or reduced our explanation to the local pages whilst prominence is given to criticisms in the national pages.

The state government has a responsibility to do everything possible to avoid water rationing and will not allow the important issue of water resources and availability to be politicised. Despite Penang having the best water supply management of a Non-Revenue Water(NRW) at 17.6% as compared to the national average NRW of 36.4%, Penang has the worst water demand management in the country with a consumption of 311 liters per capita per day.

Much as we do not wish to increase water tariffs, Penang’s water consumption in the country that is 50% higher than the national average of 212 liters per capita per day, is simply just not sustainable. The public must be made aware of the severity of the drought and the real possibility of water rationing following the shocking decision by the Perak state government to impose water rationing yesterday in Taiping, the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia.

The Penang state government stresses that even after we raise water tariffs, Penang will still enjoy the lowest water tariffs in Malaysia. The Penang Water Supply Corporation or PBAPP had subsidised nearly RM 70 million last year to maintain the domestic tariffs to be the lowest in the country at 31 cents for the first 35,000 liters per month. This 31 cents is more than half the national average of 66 cents, with the most expensive water being Johor at 105 cents.

The state government will have to actively justify the need to raise water to avoid water rationing by relying on Bulletin Mutiara or other media which are fair and neutral to justify why it is essential to raise water tariffs. This was highlighted in Letters to The Star published today by Alice Brewster who asked for professional water experts to do the job to explain to the public. She wrote,

“The more water you use, the more you pay

WATER rationing? Some might attribute this recent “drought” to climate change but in the 16 years I have been in Penang I remember that every six or seven years we have a dry spell like this. I would call it “a cycle”.

They’ve been happening for centuries. But in view of these cycles and the increased population, what should we do about it?

The cost should reflect the consumption and usage, just like electricity. The more you use, the more you pay.

I am an American who has been living in Penang for almost 16 years now. Every month when my water bill of RM7 or RM8 comes I say to my maid, “How can they pay the man who reads the meter, the clerk who types the bill, the postage to deliver the bill and possibly do any maintenance or upgrades of the water systems – the pipes, the filtration, etc. (correction: Penang water bill is calculated once every two months)

Well, obviously they can’t and any time you have a subsidy of this sort there is going to be an outcry when the fees increase to any reasonable level.

The rates are going to have to be raised as stated by Penang’s Chief Minister in “Water rates to go up in Penang to curb rising demand” (The Star, April 3).

This is no longer a sleepy little Island where a few thousand are using a few gallons of water a day.

There was a big public outcry when it was announced that there was going to be an increase in the price of sugar and other commodities which are subsidised.

The Government backed away. They are aware of what happened in other countries, such as Venezuela and Nigeria, when their governments tried to raise the price of petrol.

And the same could be true in Malaysia unless it is done properly.

How do we get this message across to the masses without creating riots and civil unrest?

One way would be a big information campaign in the newspapers, on billboards and especially at the hawker stalls and wet markets.

People need to know the reason for the increase. It needs to be explained in public forums – not by politicians but by the water board, itself. There are a lot of early retirees from all professions who might be recruited for this job.

MM2H, Penang”

I have heard public concerns of the impact of the proposed water tariffs hike on large families who are paying Water Conservation Surcharge(WCS). I will propose to the PBAPP that for families with 8 or more family members, they shall be given a 60% discount on WCS beginning 1 May 2014. These large families will need to go to PBAPP and produce the ICs of those staying in their homes to qualify for this discount. PBAPP CEO Jaseni Maidinsa shall be handling the mechanics or kindly contact the following

Contact : Puan Syarifah Nasywa bt Syed Feisal Barakbah
Corporate Communications Unit
Tel : 04-201 3231
Email : [email protected]







州政府会努力通过《珍珠快讯》或其它公平中立的媒体,阐明调高水价的必要性。今天《星报》读者Alice Brewster也要求专业的水专家来解释。


配水?有些人可能认为是最近“旱季”气候变化造成,但我在槟城住了16年,记得每六七年就有类似的干旱,我称之为“一个周期” 。




水费将不得不涨价,诚如槟城首席部长说的,“槟城将调高水费以遏制不断上涨的需求量。 ”(4月3日,《星报》)

政府打退堂鼓了,他们清楚在其他国家的政府试图提高汽油价格时发生了什么事,如委内瑞拉和尼日利亚。 这可能发生在马来西亚,除非处理得非常好。
我们该如何不制造骚动和内乱的情况下,将这讯息传达予民众 ?通过报章、看板,尤其是小贩中心和巴刹进行大型资讯宣传是一个方式。




联络人 : Puan Syarifah Nasywa bt Syed Feisal Barakbah
Corporate Communications Unit
Tel : 04-201 3231
Email : [email protected]