No water tariff hike in Penang even after polls, says PBAPP
KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) has denied reports that it plans to increase water tariffs in the state after the next general election.
In a statement here, PBAPP general manager Jazeni Maidinsa said he had been misquoted by The Star as saying so, and urged the English daily to correct its report immediately “to prevent any attempt to exploit the situation”.
The corporation also gave its assurance that the state’s water tariffs would not be increased after the general election, although Penang is “undoubtedly” a water-stressed state.
Jazeni explained that during a public seminar by WWF-Malaysia yesterday, he had merely spoken on the importance of gazetting water catchment areas and stopping logging activities as it affects the state’s water source.
“During the presentation yesterday, I explained that Penang’s NRW (non-revenue water) is 18.4 per cent, which is the lowest in the country and further reduction is only possible with water tariff revision since heavy capital investment in required,” he said in the statement.
In April, the Penang government promised not to increase water tariffs despite admitting its failure to lower annual domestic consumption.
But Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had also warned heavy users that they may face a surcharge hike if wastage persists.
Presently, those consuming above 35,000 litres of water monthly are expected by PBAPP to pay 24 sen per 1,000 litres as per the Water Conservation Surcharge (WCS) which was introduced in November 2010.
According to Lim, Penang’s domestic consumption had reduced to 285 litres per person per day last year from 291 litres but was still well off its 2011 target of 233 litres and the national average consumption of just 203 litres.
The six-litre drop in Penang’s consumption from 2010 to 2011, which amounts to about 3.2 billion litres in total, is the state’s first reduction in per capita domestic consumption since 2004.
Penang’s water tariffs are the lowest in Malaysia, with an average of 31 sen per 1,000 litres for the first 35,000 litres per month.
Penang enjoys 100 per cent urban supply coverage and 99.7 per cent rural supply coverage.