Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Malaysians Hit For Six - TNB Smiles.

Unfortunately it's not cricket! It's our wallets and bank balances which have been hit, real hard when Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik announced that electricity tariff for Peninsular Malaysia would be increased by an average of 12 percent effective June 1, 2006. That sir is a lot of money. "After great deliberation, the Cabinet at its meeting this morning decided to allow Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to increase its tariff". Thank you very much minister for the Cabinet's concern; that you all actually deliberated' greatly' over the hike is a sign of a compassionate government. Unfortunately at the end of your deep discussion you came down on the side of the power brokers i.e. Tenaga and the IPPs. You have burnt a hole the size of a cricket ball, no, for you high-class people golf ball, in our pockets.

The increase, the first since the last review was made in 1997, was decided after a careful consideration of the impact of TNB's proposal for a new tariff structure on the majority of Malaysians, you said. How did you arrive at the quantum minister? And what makes you so sure that you know what the 'impact' is on us? You and the rest of the Cabinet. Do you realize that we are struggling as it is with the awful fuel hike, and just as we are trying to come to terms with that, you hit us hard on a different front? It hurts minister, believe me it really does.

You also said that in approving the proposal, the Government had considered rising costs and the need for TNB to reinvest in supply equipment in the light of increasing demand and Malaysia's changing social environment. If only you had considered the 'changing social environment' first, and seen how it has changed from middling to down in the dumps perhaps you might have deliberated more. You're so worried about 'rising costs' for TNB, but what about our expenses which have skyrocketed? Doesn't that matter at all? How am I going to make ends meet? The same question millions of Malaysians will be asking. Do you have an answer for that minister? Perhaps ex gratia payments monthly to offset the hike in tariff? Not practical is it? The Treasury can't afford it. But somehow we the citizens have to afford it, right? If TNB has to reinvest in supply equipment then it should utilize it's profits not siphon off the public's savings.

I agree with you when you say that it would encourage consumers to use energy more efficiently by being less wasteful. We are also to blame for unnecessary wastage and of course there are thieves among us who actually 'steal' electricity. However I beg to differ on your opinion that the new tariff structure is reasonable and that the Government would not tolerate profiteering and sudden and unrealistic increases in prices of goods and services. The government has previously done precious little on that score and there has been legal opinion before, that you cannot enforce what you claim. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Your final statement at the press conference was, "therefore, the tariff increase should have minimal impact on prices of consumer goods." We'll see minister, we'll see. Going by current trends you should be in your portfolio for a long time. If prices go up to painful levels be prepared for another press conference and the heat that will produce will not be Tenaga's doing.


Blogger jan_der said...

It's very disappointing to hear that the cabinet has allowed for a tariff increase... The minister-in-charge should take note that we the loyal customers would have to pay for all these increase, despite the fact tnb's selling electricity very cheap to thailand.... tnb should ask thailand to pay more as well...let them pay at 23 sen/unit la... now they're talking about selling electricity to indon...i really hope they would send their best negotiators or else it would just be another cheap deal similar to Thai....

About this IPP deal, why now only they realise they need to re-nego?? they want to honor the contracts?? gosh, it's a heavily one-sided contract & u should re-nego to uphold the public interest....

Has there been any serious cost-cutting measures undertaken by tnb?? are they really efficient & if they claim to be efficient, at what cost?? at a much higher cost than other comparable utilities??? is tnb really sick & dying like what the minister has been claiming? or do they just need more money to pay higher bonus & salary to its staff, despite the so-called difficult times....

12:22 AM GMT+8  
Blogger R.V. said...

I was in the market this morning, tenggiri fish normally costing $14/- to $16/- was $18.50 and ikan kembong was $9.50. The other side chicken was $6.00 sen. First day increase has brought this.

Over the next few days more increases will follow, if they had not been raised yet.

8:12 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

Oh, how I wish that the general election is being held tomorrow so that I can boot these nimcompoops out of office. It is so comforting to know that those who incur a monthly average of RM40 per month electricity bill would not be affected by the increase. Once again, they have conveniently forgot to take into account the domino effect of other factors that rely on power. Mark my words, everything and I mean everything, will go up in the next 2-3 months.

8:40 PM GMT+8  
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5:03 PM GMT+8  
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