An opposition elected representative has claimed that the assurance given by PAS' Energy and Natural Resources Minister Takiyuddin Hassan to justify the new electricity tariff was merely a cliché used by previous Umno ministers and adopted by those in the Islamic party.
Amanah's Permatang Pasir assemblyperson Faiz Fadzil (above) said the new tariff for 2022-2024 was a source of concern for the people because such an increase would lead to a domino effect in the price of goods.
“It seems this reason of not burdening the rakyat is a cliché reason that has been used by Umno ministers back then, now inherited by PAS.
“It is clear that PAS’ promise that the issues on cost of living can be resolved if PAS becomes government is way off the mark,” Faiz said in a statement today.
On Jan 9, Takiyuddin said that the new tariff will not burden the people as the government had considered the country’s situation before determining the new electricity tariff.
The new tariff will affect nearly 85 percent of domestic account holders out of eight million account holders nationwide.
Cancel tariff hike plans
Faiz urged the government to cancel plans to increase the electricity tariff as the people have not yet recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government, he said, should instead focus on finding a thorough mechanism to overcome the cost of living issue.
"What needs to be increased is the pockets of the people and not the pockets of TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad)," he added, citing TNB's net profit in the previous year.
TNB recorded a higher net profit which increased 25.7 percent to RM821.5 million for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021, compared to RM653.3 million in the previous year.
Revenue for the second quarter also increased from 14.2 percent to RM12.44 billion due to increased electricity consumption involving commercial and industrial customers when certain businesses were allowed to operate compared to the full economic shutdown due to the pandemic in the previous quarter.
"This amount is enough for TNB to cover any cost increase," Faiz said.
He also suggested several measures to restore the country's economy and the lives of the people.
Among them are increasing the minimum wage, reducing the cost of goods in the market, providing financial assistance to micro, small, and medium enterprises, presenting special long-term plans to resolve the country's post-retirement crisis, and increasing employment opportunities in the market.