KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai has urged Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to offer special discounts on electricity bills due to the prolonged heatwave.
“The Meteorological Department has issued a warning that the El Nino phenomenon will cause the heatwave
in Malaysia to worsen in the next few months,” he said in a statement recently.
“As we know, many households and businesses have increased their usage of air conditioning, which translates to higher electricity bills,” said Lau.
“More people are also frequenting air-conditioned places like shopping malls to escape from the sweltering heat,” he added.
“The public and businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), should not have to bear the increased costs alone.”
He said some people were still struggling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lau said it was unacceptable for the public and SMEs to pay extra for power usage under the current economic conditions.
“The government, as a major shareholder of companies like TNB, can direct the utility provider to offer appropriate discounts and rebates to deserving households and businesses.”
In May, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Top 20 income group (T20) would no longer receive subsidies pertaining to electricity or haj.
“On that note, Gerakan urged the government to conduct a comprehensive study on the proposed power subsidy rationalisation programme.
“We must acknowledge that not every T20 household is living in luxury,” he added.
“Many double-income households, especially in Klang Valley or large cities, are struggling to get by due to the higher cost of living. They should not be robbed of subsidies abruptly, as this will cause them more financial hardship,” Lau added.