Penang govt's proposal to raise water consumption surcharge will burden people

GEORGE TOWN: The proposal by the DAP-led Penang government to once again raise rates on domestic water consumption surcharge on the grounds of water conservation is not fair and will burden users, said the state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman.

He said the hike in the water consumption surcharge rate will be for the second time since it was first introduced in November 2010, and the water-saving campaign by the state government by imposing water conservation surcharge since 2010, This however has failed to reduce water consumption per capita in Penang.

As water consumption per capita is still high and does not show a decrease, the Penang DAP government in September 2013 had raised the surcharge rate by 100%, from 24 sen to 48 sen per 1000 litres for usage of more than 35,000 litres per month.

"Now in April 2017, using a similar reason, the state government led by Lim Guan Eng will once again raise the water conservation surcharge, this time more than 100% from 48 sen to 100 sen per 1000 litres for usage exceeding 35,000 litres per month. This is the second time the surcharge will be increased," he said in a statement today.

He said the action by the state government to penalise the people of Penang by imposing water conservation surcharge still failed to reduce daily water consumption per capita in the state.

"The State Government has not succeeded in reducing water usage but managed to provide additional income and profits to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) and the state government.

"It needs to be reminded, that in 2015 the domestic water tariff for Penang had been increased by 16.7% by the state government despite the state government repeatedly having promised not to raise water rates in Penang," he said.

Zainal Abidin pointed out that during the 15 years, from 1993 to 2008, under the leadership of the Barisan Nasional state government the water tariff was never raised even once.

In fact, Zainal Abidin said no surcharge was levied on consumers in Penang but PBAPP in that period was still able to provide clean, quality water supply and good services to the people of Penang.

Yesterday, Lim reportedly said the Penang state government would raise the water conservation surcharge for domestic consumption as part of efforts to encourage prudent water usage among the people and as the final step to reduce water wastage in Penang. — Bernama