Hotels, retailers call for electricity tariffs moratorium

PETALING JAYA: Hotels, theme parks, entertainment and related industries including shopping malls and retailers have seen a 20% to 30% increase in their monthly energy bill compared to the year prior with similar usage.

The higher energy bill is due to the surcharge, introduced during the electricity tariff adjustment for Peninsular Malaysia announced in December 2022 that saw medium voltage (MV) and high voltage

(HV) users as well as multinational corporations paying 20 sen/kwj as opposed to the previous rate of 3.7 sen/kwj.

In a joint statement, seven business associations said the surge in energy prices was a “hit below the belt”.

It said the hotel industry, theme parks, entertainment and related businesses including shopping malls and retailers were among the hardest hit during the pandemic and were only able to start recovering when the country border reopened at the start of the second quarter last year.

“We were also unable to fully capitalise on the recovery period due to still being affected by the lingering after-effects of the pandemic such as the manpower shortage and the growing general caution for people to travel,” it added.

Additionally, it said the recent legislation such as the minimum wage revision and amendments to the Employment Act have further hampered the industries' recovery process.

“Now, we also have to contend with this immense and sudden upsurge in their energy bill price hits below the belt.”

“Hence, we would like to sincerely urge the government to provide a moratorium for the new electricity tariffs to all commercial users until the end of 2023 so as to provide us time to recover.

“This constant and increasing pressure towards our businesses, at a time when Malaysia is stepping up tourism efforts, is taking its toll as we are unable to operate efficiently and effectively.

“We hope to hear a favourable response soon and we are always open for talks with the ministry for the overall betterment of the industry in Malaysia,” they said.

The seven business associations are Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Association Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO), Malaysia Budget & Business Hotel Association (MyBHA), Malaysian Association of Themepark & Family Attractions (MATFA), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) and Malaysia Shopping Malls Association.

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