Liang Teck Meng Is The Latest Of Political Cowards From Gerakan, When He Refused To Tell The Truth That Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara(SPAN) Had Persistently Pressed Perbadanan Air Pulau Pinang(PBAPP) To Increase Water Tariffs.(e/c)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 31.7.2017.

Gerakan Secretary-General and SPAN Chairman Liang Teck Meng is the latest of political cowards from Gerakan, when he refused to tell the truth that Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara(SPAN) had persistently pressed Perbadanan Air Pulau Pinang(PBAPP) to increase water tariffs. On 23 July 2017, Liang issued a statement under the bold heading “Reveal application letter and see who is to blame”,

“I take great offence at Lim Guan Eng’s statement where he accused me of giving a sign that the federal government wants Penang to increase its water rates in line with other states. This is pure slander on me by the Chief Minister.”

After I challenged him to sue me for defamation, for his allegation of “pure slander” against him, he copped out with flimsy excuses. This was his first act of political cowardice. He repeated that same act of political cowardice when he repeated on 28 July 2017 that I had tried to defame him, but was afraid to sue me for defamation. Liang Teck Meng then tried to divert attention by claiming that he had already sued me for defamation earlier.

However, this earlier defamation suit was filed by Gerakan, pertaining to my statement on land sales made 4 years earlier. In my 2013 statement, I had revealed that the previous BN Penang state government sold 36 times more land than the present Pakatan state government, and yet got less money because the Pakatan state government sold land by competitive open tender. Gerakan waited 4 years to sue me, obviously political motivated for the coming 14th General elections. Is Liang Teck Meng going to wait 4 years to do the same?

The second act of political cowardice occurred when he challenged me to allow SPAN to reveal the letter that the Penang state government, by letter dated 23 December 2016, wanted to increase water tariffs. But Liang was not brave enough to reveal other letters from PBAPP to SPAN, that PBAPP had withdrawn their 23 December 2016 letter to increase water tariffs on 21 February 2017.

Liang also did not reveal that SPAN had replied, opposing the withdrawal by PBAPP and twice asked that a water tariff increase be considered. Clearly Liang deliberately was hiding information, or selectively choosing information and taking them out of context, to paint a false and negative picture of the Penang state government.

SPAN Asked PBAPP To Increase Water Tarrifs Twice.

This was the third act of political cowardice by Liang, that he did not dare to disclose that SPAN had opposed increasing water conservation surcharge(WCS) because it was inadequate, and called instead of an increase in water tariffs. On 28 April 2017, PBAPP asked for an increase in Water Conservation Surcharge(WCS) instead, not as Liang claimed that PBAPP had increased water tarrifs four times. Instead of increasing water tariffs, PBAPP wanted to increase WCS to punish those who use excessive water instead of a water tariff increase that would penalise all.

This WCS was a final attempt by PBAPP to try to cut down water wastage before being forced to consider a water tariff increase as insisted persistently by SPAN. Clearly, Liang has failed to fulfil his statutory duty and chose to use his position as Chairman of SPAN, to make disclosure of confidential information to give him the political advantage to run down and embarrass PBAPP and the Penang state government.

As SPAN is a public regulator of water operators in Malaysia, the SPAN Chairman cannot use his position for political advantage. This is not only unethical and unprofessional, but disclosing confidential information in his statement on 23 July 2017, on the 23 December 2016 letter by PBAPP to SPAN, is a violation of secrecy laws under section 41 of the SPAN Act 2006.

Under Section 41 of the Act, SPAN members and employees are barred from disclosing information obtained during their employment. If found guilty, they may be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed for a maximum of three years. Now Liang is trying again to cover up his breach of his statutory duty, by swaying public opinion against the Penang state government through BN’s malignant control of the papers and mass media, which disgracefully refuses to fully publish my replies.

The Penang state government is proud that PBAPP is still able to maintain the lowest water tariffs in the country at 32 cents for every 1,000 liters, for the first 35,000 liters of water. This compares with Liang’s home state of Johor, that charges 4 times higher at RM1.32. PBAPP provides nearly RM100 million in annual subsidies to preserve the lowest water tariffs, and still can turn in an annual profit without fail.

Further we are even prouder that despite climate change that has caused many states to impose water rationing over the last 6 years, Penang remains the only state in Malaysian history that has never imposed any water rationing. Liang should pay more attention to his own home state of Johor in terms of reducing both its high water tariffs and the frequency of water rationing.

LIM GUAN ENG

槟州首席部长林冠英于2017年7月31日在乔治市光大发表文告:

梁德明拒绝透露真相,告诉大家是国家水务委员会坚持要槟州供水机构提高水费的事实,他不啻为民政党内近期内最新的政治懦夫。

民政党总秘书兼国家水务委员会主席梁德明拒绝透露真相,告诉大家是国家水务委员会坚持要槟州供水机构提高水费的事实,他不啻为民政党内近期内最新的政治懦夫。2017年7月23日,梁德明以“揭露一份申请书,看看谁才应该被责备”为题,发出了一份声明,

“我对林冠英发表的声明感到很冒犯,因为他将矛头指向我,指责我以联邦政府之名要求槟州和其他州属一样,必须提高水费。这纯属为欲加之罪,是首席部长对我的诬蔑。”

稍后,我挑战他以诽谤之罪来起诉我,他却以林林总总的藉口来推脱。这是他第一次表现出政治懦夫的行为。2017年7月28日,他再次表现出一样的政治懦夫性格,指责我意图诋毁他,但又不敢起诉我。接着,梁德明试图转移视线,说他已在较早前起诉我诽谤。

事实上,这是民政党在较早前,针对我4年前发表一项相关土地买卖的声明所做出的控诉。我在这份2013年的声明当中,揭露前朝国阵政府卖出的土地是现在希望联盟政府的36倍,但所赚到的钱却远比我们少,因为希联政府是以公开招标来作业的。民政党等了4年后才起诉我,明显的是充满政治动机的,事缘第14届全国大选已迫在眉睫。而梁德明是不是又要等个四年,才愿意做出起诉?

梁德明第二次展现其政治懦夫的行为,是他挑战我,允许国家水务委员会公开槟州政府志期2016年12月23日的一封公函,有关函件的内容为要求提高水费。但梁德明不敢揭露的一项事实是,2017年2月21日,槟州供水机构去函国家水务委员会,要求撤销之前于2016年12月23日所作出提高水费的申请。

梁德明也不敢告诉大家的事实,包括国家水务委员会回函表示反对槟州供水机构撤销申请,同时二次要求提高水费。明显的,梁德明在故意隐瞒事实,或选择性揭露事实,断章取义式地抹黑槟州政府,制造负面印象。

国家水务委员会二次要求槟州供水机构提高水费

梁德明不敢公开说明国家水务委员会反对提高水源附加费,并指出单是附加费是不足够的,必须要提高水费才行。这是他第三次表现出政治懦夫的行为。2017年4月28日,槟州供水机构要求提高水源附加费,非梁德明所提及的四次提高水费。槟州供水机构要求提高附加费,主要是惩处浪费水源的用户,一旦提高水费,则是对那些节省用水的用户,亦一并惩处了。

征收附加费,乃槟州供水机构在接受国家水务委员会坚持提高水费之前最后的手段,以便能够降低水源浪费。显然的,梁德明已经渎职,他利用国家水务委员会主席之便,公开机密资讯来谋取其政治的好处,达成其羞辱及颠覆槟州供水机构和槟州政府的意图。

国家水务委员会作为马来西亚管理水源的单位,其主席不能公器私用,以职权之便谋政治上的好处。这不止不符伦理也不专业,更甚的是,他还于2017年7月23日发表的声明中,公开志期2016年12月23日由槟州供水机构发予国家水务委员会的机密文件,这已触犯了2006年国家水务法第41条下的保密条文。

在第41条文之下,国家水务委员会的成员及雇员,不得公开就职期间所获取的资讯,一旦违法,将被罚款最高10万令吉或遭囚禁最高3年。现在,梁德明利用国阵控制的媒体来大作文章,将矛头指向槟州政府,亦不让我的回应见报,目的是在转移视线,掩盖他渎职的事实。

槟州政府以槟州供水机构为傲,因为后者迄今仍能维持全国最低的水费,即每1000公升32仙(首3万5000公升)。这和梁德明家乡—柔佛的1令吉32仙比起来,足足少了4倍。槟供水机构每年付出了近1亿令吉的津贴,来维持全国最低的水费,即便如此,每年仍能带来盈利。

晚近6年因为气候变迁之故,许多州属都被迫实施配水,令我们深感骄傲的是,槟州是国内史上未曾实施配水的州属。这节骨眼上,梁德明应该专注于如何降低其家乡柔佛的水费,还有配水的频率才是。

林冠英

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