PRESIDENT of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai recently engaged in a discussion with the energy related authority on a number of concerns.
Energy cost is a major cost factor to the industry which has significantly contributed to more than 37% of TNB electricity sales. Considering the current challenging period where little assistance has been provided for manufacturers to mitigate energy-cost impact caused by Covid-19 and the Movement Control Order, Soh put forward an appeal for the following:
* Extend the electricity tariff discounts to another 2 months and consider further discount of up to 5% as most companies especially those categorised as non-essentials did not benefit from it during April and May 2020 where usage is almost zero or minimal as productions were halted due to MCO, whereas they still have to bear the overheads and fixed costs.
* Electricity bills for February and March 2020 to be apportioned out for the affected companies similar to the easy payment plan offered to residential customers.
* Waiver of late payment penalty charges.
* Review of Maximum demand (MD) charge calculation for the month of March to reflect the days inoperation in view of the MCO
* Review the natural gas price to reflect the decline in global fuel prices, Indonesia has also reduced the price to USD6/mmBtu or equivalent to 25% reduction from the price Malaysian industries is paying currently.
* Waiver of the Take-or-Pay (TOP) penalty clause in consideration of possible prolonged impact of COVID-19 on businesses locally and globally to help lower business costs and sustain operations.
In addition to the above, FMM is also calling for Gas Malaysia Energy Services (GMES) Sdn Bhd to defer its decision to impose excess gas charges beginning from July 2020 until the economy recovers. FMM urgently calls for these reliefs to be duly considered expeditiously in order to support business and employment sustainability in view of the external uncertainties and long recovery period.