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Penang CM must resolve water tariff hike issue, says MCA

Publish date: Thu, 23 May 2024, 03:19 PM

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow should explain to Penangites and immediately resolve the high water tariff in the state, says Penang MCA.

It said the alarming hike in Penang’s water tariffs was causing widespread public discontent.

"Several ruling party assemblymen are unhappy with the hike and have voiced out about the jump in the tariffs," said MCA vice-president and state chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng in a statement on Thursday (May 23).

"The Chief Minister should explain the hike and resolve the issue rather than shifting the blame to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP).

Tan said the tariff hike was an additional burden to the people who were already saddled with higher expenses due to rise in prices of goods.

Meanwhile PBAPP said Penang domestic water rates were rational and reasonable.

"It is the second lowest domestic rate in Malaysia. The last domestic water rate review was in 2015 although the cost of producing water has increased by 30%.

"PBAPP's electricity costs to pump water throughout the state, among others, have gone up significantly with an increase of 22.3%," said PBAPP chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan in a statement on Thursday (May 22).

Pathmanthan said in the nine-year period from 2015 to 2023 PBAPP's total water subsidy for domestic water consumption in Penang amounted to RM834.74mil, a level of subsidy that is no longer sustainable.

"Nevertheless, the average household domestic water bill in Penang is still relatively lower than bills for electricity, fuel, internet connection and mobile phone services," added Pathmanathan.

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