BN questions Pakatan Rakyat's silence over water tariff hike

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Barisan Nasional (BN) today questioned the stance of Pakatan Rakyat, which remains silent over the state government's decision to raise water tariffs, although it continues to bring up the issue of rising cost of living during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign.

Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow said Pakatan Rakyat's action seemed to be selective as it was trying to champion the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issue, but ignoring the burden borne by the people due to the water tariff increase.

"Three PKR state assemblymen who sit on the state executive council are unable to do anything because the decisions and policies are decided by someone who is very powerful," he said during a press conference held at the BN operations centre for the Permatang Pauh by-election, here, today.

Besides that, he said, there were many policies implemented by the DAP-led state government which burdened the people such as hikes in assesssment rates and charges on real estate management which had increased by more than 200 per cent.

Yesterday, PKR strategic director, Sim Tze Tzin reportedly said the 16.7 per cent increase in water tariffs effective April 1 should be referred to the statement issued by the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP).

Also present at the press conference were Penang BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Penang Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman and its secretary Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, and Dengkil assemblyman Shahrum Mohd Sharif.

Meanwhile, Shahrum said PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should be fair and not turn her back on the people of Kajang, especially those who voted in her favour in the by-election early last year.

He also questioned how the PKR president could devote her time to more than 40,000 voters in Kajang and 71,000 voters in Permatang Pauh at the same time.

"In Kajang, there has been a betrayal to the people as a little more than a year (after the 2013 General Election), Kajang's previous elected representative (Lee Chin Cheh) was forced to resign to make way for Wan Azizah.

"In less than one term, there had to be a by-election, and the Election Commission had to spend millions of ringgit on it...the tasks of a state assemblyman cannot be delegated to officers who manage the Kajang service centre," he said.

Dr Wan Azizah in her daily press conference, here, today once again stressed that there was no problem for her to take care of both areas at the same time as the Kajang state constituency was under the supervision of her deputy, who is also Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7 will see a four-cornered fight involving Dr Wan Azizah, Suhaimi Sabudin (BN), Salleh Isahak (Independent) and Azman Shah Othman (Parti Rakyat Malaysia).

The by-election is being held as its incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lost his eligibility as a member of Parliament after the Pardons Board rejected his petition made through his family members for clemency.

Anwar is currently serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of sodomising his former personal aide.



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