Siaran Akhbar

Offer discounts on power usage in view of expected prolonged heat wave

Jun 6, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 JUNE 2023: The Meteorological Department has issued a warning yesterday (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/06/05/hotter-days-in-coming-months) that the El Nino phenomenon will cause the current heatwave in Malaysia to worsen in the next few months.

In view of this, GERAKAN calls on power utility companies like Tenaga Nasional Bhd to offer discounts or rebates for electricity bills in the following months due to the expected rise in power usage to cope with the rising temperature.

As we know, many households and businesses have increased the usage of air conditioning, which consumes huge amounts of power which translates into higher electricity bills. More people are also frequenting air-conditioned places like malls as ways to escape from the sweltering heat. Bearing this in mind, the public and businesses, especially SMEs, should not have to bear the increased costs alone.

Many are still struggling to get back on their feet post-COVID19. Compounding their problems is the sharp fall of the Ringgit, the hike in the OPR and the sluggish economy. Making the public and SMEs pay extra for power usage to stay comfortable, healthy and sane under the current economic conditions is unacceptable.

The government, as a major shareholder of companies like TNB, can direct the utility providers to offer appropriate discounts and rebates to deserving households and businesses. Such a relief will have minimal impact on the finances of corporate giants like TNB, which made a profit of RM3.4 bil for Financial Year 2022.

Government-linked companies (GLCs) not only have a duty to provide financial returns to shareholders, but are also expected to ease the lives of the public at large, through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes like offering discounts and rebates for the deserving.

The Government had announced that the T20 may not be enjoying power subsidy soon. On that note, we call on the government to conduct a comprehensive study on its proposed power subsidy rationalisation programme.

We must acknowledge that not every T20 household is living in luxury. Many double-income households, especially in Klang Valley or large cities like Jobor Baru and Penang are struggling to get by due to the higher costs of living there. They should not be robbed of subsidies abruptly, as this will cause them more financial hardship.

YB Senator
Datuk Dr. Dominic Lau Hoe Chai
Presiden Nasional
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

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