Penang’s Proposed Water Tariff Hike Is To Avoid Water Rationing, Whose Proceeds Goes Towards Government’s Water Projects, Is Different From Sugar Price Hike That Benefits Not The Government But Only Private Cronies.(en/cn)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 5 April 2014.

Penang PR state government’s proposed water tariff hike is intended to avoid carrying out water rationing, where the proceeds goes towards government’s water projects. This is different from sugar price hike that benefits not the government but only private cronies controlling the sugar business. Pro-BN mainstream media has adopted the MCA and Gerakan line of attack on the proposed water tariff hike by equating the water tariff hike to the sugar price hike.

Equating the rationale for the water and sugar price hike is illogical and a specious fallacy because the proposed water tariff hike intends to avoid water rationing in the future. The sugar price hike is not to avoid any sugar rationing. When the Federal government decided not to subsidise sugar by removing the 20 cents subsidy, the private cronies controlling the sugar business did not lose a single cent but still recorded profits. These profits continued to be earned at the expense of the people who paid a higher price.

On the other hand, any proceeds from the water tariff hike would still belong to the state government and be utilised towards water projects for the people’s benefit. The Penang Water Supply Corporation or PBAPP continues to be the best water supply management I Malaysia with a Non-Revenue Water(NRW) at 17.6% as compared to the national average NRW of 36.4%.

I am puzzled by the self-contradictory remarks by Energy, Green Technology and Water deputy minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid in criticising the increase water tariff to curb water wastage because Penang can adopt the Ministry’s activities to save water. And yet he had admitted that the people are not heeding advice to save water.(see attached)

As the state government’s efforts towards curbing water wastage such as education and Water Conservation Surcharge(WCS) to penalise those who waste water over the last 6 years have failed, raising water tariffs is the last resort to avoid water rationing. The photos of consumers suffering from water rationing in Selangor, KL, Johor and Taiping should remind us their hardships, especially on women and the elderly.(see attached)

Climate change may result in a prolonged drought this year. Worse this drought may recur annually for an extended period for 5 years as had happened in Australia. We must remember that the prospect for a drought is very real with the ASEAN Specialised Meterological Centre in Singapore predicting lower rainfall in April to May and a dry spell between June to October this year.

The Penang state government stresses that even after we raise water tariffs, Penang will still enjoy the lowest domestic water tariffs in Malaysia. The PBAPP had subsidised nearly RM 70 million last year to maintain the domestic water tariffs to be the lowest in the country at 31 cents for the first 35,000 liters per month.(Trade tariffs are not subsidised) This 31 cents is more than half the national average of 66 cents, with the most expensive water being Johor at 105 cents.

I wish to reiterate that families with 8 or more family members, shall be given a 60% discount on WCS beginning 1 May 2014. These large families will need to go to the 9 PBAPP offices in Penang and produce their ICs or other proof of family members 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]

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