GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has proposed to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) that households with eight or more members be given a 60% discount on the water conservation surcharge from May 1.
Families can go to any of the nine PBAPP offices and produce the MyKads of those staying “under one roof” to qualify for the
discount, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told a press conference at his office here yesterday.
He said PBAPP chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa will handle the mechanics of the matter. Responding to criticisms on the water tariff hike, Lim, who is PBAPP chairman, said the state has a responsibility to do everything possible to avoid water rationing.
“Penang’s water consumption is 50% higher than the national average of 212 litres per capita per day,” he said.
“This is just not sustainable. The public must be made aware of the severity of the drought and the real possibility of water rationing.”
He said the PBAPP subsidised nearly RM70mil last year to maintain the domestic tariffs as the lowest in the country at 31 sen for the first 35,000 litres per month. He added that the national average is 66 sen, with the most expensive water being in Johor at 105 sen.
Penang MCA deputy chairman Tan Teik Cheng said Lim had announced the hike in water tariffs without consulting the people.
“I challenge Lim to disclose the water bill
of his official residence and that of the relevant agencies to prove the state government is making itself a role model in saving water,”
he said in a statement here yesterday.
Penang MCA secretary Dr Tan Chuan Hong said Lim always claims the state government
is ready to face criticisms but when the
public rejects a certain move, the state administration remains unflinching.
Penang Gerakan secretary Oh Tong Keong said the party wanted an explanation if the increase in water tariffs was due to the ‘surplus of directors’ in PBAPP.
“Lim should inform the people if the payment of allowances to the directors in the PBAPP board, warranted an increase in water tariffs,” he said.
Penang MIC Putera chief N.G. Senthelnathan said that the state government had not made any effort to build water dams or find alternative sources to increase water supply.