Liang to Guan Eng: Stop diverting and reveal water rates letter

PETALING JAYA: The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) has a duty to ask water operators questions if they are unable to cover their costs despite multiple water rate hikes, says Datuk Liang Teck Meng.

The Gerakan secretary-general was responding to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s allegation that Liang was unprofessional for seeking permission to reveal an application letter by Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) to SPAN.

“SPAN is a professional body whose main job is to ensure a sustainable water supply infrastructure.

“If a water operator's cost has increased, which will cause it to run into annual losses, then clearly this is not sustainable,” said Liang, who is also SPAN chairman.

“If the current water rates and the resulting revenue, despite three previous rates increases over the past six years, are still insufficient to cover the further increases in costs of PBAPP, then SPAN has the duty to question the water operator,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

With regard to Lim challenging Liang to sue him if he felt slandered, Liang said that legal action would be costly and time-consuming for the both of them.

He also reiterated his challenge to Lim to allow Gerakan to reveal an application letter from PBAPP to SPAN dated Dec 23, 2016 requesting “massive increases in water rates.”
This would help disprove what he said were Lim’s hints that the Federal Government had wanted Penang to increase its water rates in line with other states.

Lim had been previously reported as saying that Liang had behaved unprofessionally, accusing him of breaching his duty in asking permission to reveal the letter.

It was reported that Lim said the Penang state government planned to increase its water surcharge to reduce domestic usage.

This would have been the fourth time that the state raised the price of water, with the conservation surcharge possibly going up from 48 sen to RM1 per 1,000 litres if allowed by SPAN.

 

 

Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/07/26/span-has-a-duty-to-question-water-operators-says-its-chairman/

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