Gerakan: Reconsider separating bill for solid waste from quit rent Press statement by Dr Cheah Soon Hai, Gerakan head of central bureau on environment, safety and quality of life

Gerakan head of central bureau on environment, safety and quality of life, Dr Cheah Soon Hai today urges the government to reconsider the idea of segregating the bill for solid waste from the quit rent. He is referring to the report by a local Chinese press on the announcement of the matter by the National Solid Waste Management Strategy Chief yesterday.   

Dr Cheah who is also Kedah Derga State Assemblyman said, based on the experience the nation has with the Indah Water Konsortium company whereby in the past, segregating the solid waste management charges from the quit rent is likely to end up in the increasing of the charge.  

Dr Cheah said, the sewerage management fee was once hidden in the water bill, however, in 1994, the sewerage management was separated from the water bill when the government awarded IWK the task to provide efficient sewerage system for the rakyat but ended up with the increasing of the sewerage charges.    

“Unless the government could ensure that the price of solid waste management would not increase like what IWK did, if not, this will only be another round of dispute between the rakyat and the solid waste management company where many would refuse to make their payment just like what IWK is undergoing since the past,” Dr Cheah said. 

The second issue which concerns Dr Cheah regarding the proposal of giving a separate bill on solid waste management is that this measure does not ensure better quality of service. Dr Cheah presumes that it is very likely many will refuse to pay for the solid waste management bill because it appears as an additional cost of living to them which is unsought for when living cost is already at the rise.  Such situation will end up in debts to the solid waste management company, it would be very difficult for the company to function when the company faces with financial problem. And this clearly defeats the purpose of segregating the bill from quit rent. 

Dr Cheah also says, it is unfair to push the responsibility to the public to settle the issue of delay of payment by the government to the solid waste management companies. The government should think of a better way to transfer the fee to the companies instead of causing more hassle to the rakyat by introducing a new bill which is very likely to increase in fee as time passes. The government could easily delegate the task to make payment to the solid waste management companies to the local government who is collecting the quit rent on behalf of the government to transfer the portion of solid waste management fee to the related companies.

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