Monday, May 29, 2006

Oh No! Not Another Tariff Hike?

Yup. It's started people. Another round of hikes. This time it is precious water we're talking about. Unlike the 'direct' bang that we got for electricity, this time it is insidious, slowly and stealthily spreading like a disease.

The Perak Mentri Besar just announced without fanfare (naturally) that the Perak Water Board (PWB) will raise its water tariff by 15 per cent on July 1 but 36 per cent of consumers in the state will not be affected. He said the exempted consumers were those who used less than 20 cubic metres of water per month. He said the increase in water rate was in line with the hike in electricity tariff and water rate in other states as well as to prepare for the corporatisation of PWB in two or three years.

What does the MB mean 'in line with the hike in electricity tariff'? I thought the government assured us that they won't let anyone take advantage of the electricity hike! Or does that only apply to the price of roti canai? This is a clear-cut case of rank opportunism and the Federal Government should disallow it. And the MB adds that this is in preparation of corporatisation of PWB in 2-3 years. Great, the first step in that preparation is to raise the tariff two to three years ahead of time.

Now read this. The MB also said that the hike would increase PWB's revenue by about RM20 million a year. Last year, the board earned RM210 million. How much must these guys make before they stop milking us dry? Do you think that it is going to stop with Perak? No way. The other states are going to be watching very carefully and if Perak gets an easy passage without any complaints or protests then the greedy MBs andCMs are going to join in the chorus for water hikes all for the 'future' of the Rakyat. With the extra cash they will probably build a few more roundabouts in unnecessary places and decorate them with artificial trees imported from China at inflated prices. (OK I'm being cynical' sorry.)

This first announcement of the water tariff hike must somehow be stopped in its tracks if we all are not to be burdened further later. Any ideas how?


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3:05 AM GMT+8  

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