‘Penang’s water surcharge a burden’

Posted on September 24, 2010. Filed under: Water resource |

-Free MalaysiaToday- GEORGE TOWN: A Gerakan youth leader today criticised the Penang government’s move to impose a surcharge on water tariff as it will burden the lower income group, especially those with large household members.

Kedah youth chief Tan Keng Liang said the surcharge was also against Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework (CPF) unveiled last December.

Under paragraph H of the CPF, he said Pakatan’s pledge states that providing and maintaining good public infrastructure was the government’s responsibility.

The coalition pledged to Malaysians that the implementation should not burden the people and it would guarantee clean water at reasonable rates to every family in Malaysia

However, Tan said the Pakatan government has taken an unlikely lead to impose a surcharge of 24 sen per 1,000 liters on domestic consumers using more than 35,000 litres of water per month.

Lower income group affected most

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration said that surcharge was part of the state government’s effort to cut water wastage and encourage wise usage.

But Tan said the surcharge had clearly failed to take into account that the number of persons in each household varies.
He said the average 35,000-litre consumption was an estimation based on five persons per household.

“What about large families with 10 members and more? The surcharge would be unreasonable on them, especially on those living in the lower income bracket,” he said.

“It should not be a hasty move that unfairly burdens any group of people. Otherwise, it can be assumed it is mere attempt to increase water tariff under the guise of curbing water wastage,” added Tan.

He said that the Penang government move to increase water tariff would not encourage other Pakatan states of Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor to to follow suit.

“Pakatan should honour its CPF pledges to the people,” said Tan.

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