KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat today slammed Putrajaya for its proposal to increase electricity tariff in Malaysia between 10 and 20 per cent next year.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said today the increment would have detrimental effects on the people who are already struggling with their current electricity bills.
“What will have a bigger impact isn’t the increase in salary, but the increase in electricity tariff because everything else will increase,” Santiago told FMT, referring to the new salaries for Selangor state government officials which have been described as “too high”.
“Everything uses electricity and to manufacturers, 20 per cent is a huge increase in monthly expenses in terms of an electricity bill,” he added.
Santiago said the increment had no basis as the returns to capital for Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) amounted to over RM1 billion a year.
“This is after repayment of all the debts and borrowing… they always make more than RM1 billion in profit,” he said.
“If they consistently make over RM1 billion a year… what is the reason to increase electricity tariff?” he asked.
“We already have people struggling to pay their current electricity bills… this would further burden them,” he added.
Santiago disclosed that the parliamentarians had yet to receive notice of an increment, but hoped that Putrajaya would reconsider the hike.
“Does the government really need to increase the tariff? I hope they will reconsider the proposal,” he said. Cheating the public
Kapar MP G Manivannan mirrored his colleague’s sentiment and accused Putrajaya of pushing through increment policies that would burden the people.
“First it was an increase in petrol price, then the removal of sugar subsidy, and now they want to increase the tariff for electricity… they just don’t care about the welfare of the people,” he said.
“Everything is going up in price, except the salaries of civil servants and those in the private sectors.
“This has not been brought up, this has not been discussed… there is no stability at all,” he added.
He further accused Putrajaya of taking advantage of Malaysians who accepted all policies with an open heart.
“They are utilising this to the maximum. The people are becoming the victims. They are very clever in cheating the public,” he said.
“They are implementing everything now because the next election is in a very long time. By that time, the people will have forgotten all about this (increment).”
Yesterday, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili announced the electricity tariff hike to ensure sufficient returns of capital for TNB.