Reduce tariffs

Posted on June 18, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-

KUCHING: Industry players here want electricity tariffs to be lowered to increase their competitiveness in the global market when the Bakun Dam comes onstream in August.

The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS), which has some 3,000 members throughout the state, has appealed to the authorities for the reduction for industrial and commercial purpose.

A letter had been submitted to the Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in April.

“Electricity tariffs have been adjusted over the years but we feel that they are still relatively more expensive for industrial and commercial purpose. We hope they can be lowered. Since Bakun Dam has just started, we might use the same reason to continue to ask for lower tariffs,” said Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) president Datuk Wee Kok Tiong during ACCCIS’s 46th annual general meeting.

Helping hand: Sia (left) presenting a donation for Chinese schools to a representative of the schools, witnessed by Cheng (second left) and Wee. Wee succeeded Sia as the new ACCCIS president

Wee, who succeeded Datuk Sia Hiong Ngie as the new ACCCIS chairman, believed that the association would continue to play an important role as the link between the Chinese business community and the government.

“When foreign investors come to the state, we could help link them to the right agencies so they do not waste time and effort,” he said.

Wee said the business environment in the state was friendly.

However, he hoped that the land policy in the state could eventually be more open to investors from Peninsular Malaysia or foreigners in due time.

Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia president Tan Sri William Cheng, who opened the AGM, also appealed to the government to lower the electricity and gas tariffs for industrial and commercial use in the country.

“We believe the Government should talk to trade organisations to understand the impact on various industries before increasing the tariffs drastically.”

He suggested forming a team of experts to study the capital costs of generating electricity.

The association would work with other groups to submit a proposal to the Government on ways to the reduce electricity tariffs and cut down on capital costs, he said.

He said that Sarawak had vast opportunities in terms of exploiting natural resources such as coal, copper, iron and timber.

He hoped the Federal and state governments could approve more land for mining activities and invite investors to venture into the field.

Among the resolutions passed during the AGM were maintaining fuel subsidies for taxi drivers, improvement of the electricity delivery service, setting up of natural gas stations throughout the state, announcement of industrial and commercial land premium calculations and improvement of infrastructure.

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