Over 60 residents of Penang walked through the busy Sunday market on April 13th protesting against the state government’s decision to raise water tariffs.
The group called “Himpunan Anak-Anak Penang” encouraged the state government to rethink the plan as it would be a burden to people, especially those from the lower income group.
Mohd Shukor Yusof, a spokesman for the group said the state’s plan to raise the water tariff as high as 100 per cent was uncalled for as Penang Water Supply Corporation’s (PBAPP) was financially secure.
“The former Barisan Nasional government did not raise water tariffs from 1991 until 2008 until the Pakatan Rakyat took over.”
Shukor said, people, especially those living on the mainland with lower income and the poor would face financial issues if the state imposed high tariffs.
“It appears the state government’s aim is to increase money in the state coffers but he (Lim) failed to understand the financial burden which the people would undergo because of the tariff hike.”
This protest marks the first from Penangites ever since Lim made the announcement on tariffs.
The group wore yellow T-shirts with the words “Kami Bantah Naik Tariff Air” gathered for an hour and distributed pamphlets to the people in the market.
Two weeks ago, Lim said the state government would think about increasing water tariff due to high usage, acknowledging that the tariff had not been raised since 1991.
According to Lim, even if there was a hike, Penang would still enjoy the lowest domestic water tariffs in the country.
PBAPP subsidised nearly RM70 million last year to maintain the low tariff level of 31 sen for the first 35,000 litres a month.