ULTERIOR MOTIVE to RAISE WATER TARIFFS in PERAK; Corporatisation of the Water Board for ULITIMATE PRIVATISATION to ENRICH the Well Connected
Ostensibly the raise will not affect the “poor 40%” using less than 20 cu metre but will marginalized the rest and industry. It will have spiraling effect on the cost of living for sure. Now who are the majority in the marginalized group in the urban areas affected?
Who benefits most in this increased in tariffs. The same old reasoning is used when the Electricity rates were raised sometime back that affect the whole Nation.
The word marginalization is hotly debated over Kuan Yew’s remarks; this increase in tariffs is a clear cut application of marginalization.
They are just not contented to make a living in the privatization with the old rates must increased it first to make a killing. The water privatization in Selangor clearly demonstrated “getting rich” for the few who got the contracts.
This is another form of “legalized extortion” when contracts are signed in black and white and not revealed, there is no arguments - just like the Toll rates contracts, the IPP contracts to TNB and many many others. There is no shame and fear, it is legal and not corrupted.
Why must these blatant exercises in the name of privatization be allowed to go on? So that a few who can gained their fortunes by political pull, by having government grant those favors and franchises at the expense of their fellow-men?
Why can’t these well connected achieved their fortunes by economic means; through production and trade? Create something useful, saleable and compete in the world market and not to cross your legs and collect tolls or increased water, electricity, assessment rates, taxes and fines - all with no effort but with plenty of supporting clutches!
See previous posting below dated May 27 06
MALSYSIA’S 40 RICHEST – HOW DID THEY MANIFEST THEIR WEALTH TO BE RICH? BY THE LAW OF ATTRACTION AND THEIR BELIEFS?
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Pagar makan padi? ;
Perak recently raised water tariffs even though the Perak Water Board has been making healthy profits for the past five years. Jeyakumar Devaraj writes on the turbulence sparked by the hike and the controversial move to corporatise the Board.
At the April sitting of the Perak State Assembly, the chief minister (MB) of Perak, Tajol Rosli, announced that the Perak State Water Board would be raising water tariffs by 15 per cent from 1 July 2006. Domestic consumers using less than 20 cubic metres per month - about 40 per cent of Perak households fall into this category - would be exempted from this price hike. The MB went on to explain that this price hike was necessary as the State is planning to corporatise the Board soon.
Many find the
Source: Water Tariff and Development: The Case of
Cassey Lee Tables 2, 4 and 8
Master Plan for water
In 2004, the Perak state government commissioned Price Waterhouse Coopers to conduct a study and give recommendations regarding the future of water services in the state. The study has been completed but until now the Perak public has not been told what the master plan for water services is.
Is the proposed corporatisation of the LAP just a prelude to the wholesale privatisation of the revenue earning portions of the state water services? Will there be effective mechanisms to ensure that the contracts awarded to corporate entities are not excessively favourable to these corporations? What are the measures that will be taken to ensure that the quality of water will not be compromised?
Perak Water Coalition
Several groups in Perak feel that these issues have to be addressed by the state government before the it implements any change in water tariffs or goes ahead with the corporatisation of the LAP and have come together to form the Gabungan Pengguna Air Perak ( Perak Water Coalition). The coalition presented a Memorandum to the MB on
The RM250 million mistake
At a forum on "The future of the water industry in Perak", organised by the Water Coalition on 29 June 2006 at a hotel in Ipoh, Y Y Koon, a retired senior engineer who has considerable expertise in the water industry, charged that the huge RM250 million dam nearing completion in Ulu Kinta is a colossal waste of public funds. He argued convincingly that water supply in Perak could be increased at a fraction of the cost by augmenting the capacity of existing facilities. Who were the consultants for the feasibility project? Why did they not consider cheaper options? Were the tenders awarded in an open and transparent manner? Koon told the audience that these are issues that the Perak people should take seriously.
Charles Santiago, who spoke at the same forum, warned that many corporations are eyeing the water industry. After all, water is an excellent "commodity" and demand for it will never cease as it is a basic necessity. One does not need to fear outside competitors - you cannot bring in cheaper water from
Citizens' oversight committees
The Coalition is therefore requesting the Perak state government to set up a 15-member board to oversee developments in the water sector. It is proposing that five of the board members should be from civil society groups such as consumer groups, unions and other NGOs. The remaining 10 should be nominated by political parties based on their share of the total votes in the latest state elections. If, for example, the opposition parties garnered 40 per cent of the votes, the opposition parties can then nominate four members to the citizens' board.
This citizen's oversight committee should vet every major decision of the LAP and have the power to refer objectionable decisions to the State Assembly for further discussion before implementation.
What can a civil society grouping like the Perak Water Coalition do if the government spurns all requests for dialogue and bulldozes its decisions through? This was the main topic of discussion at the Coalition meeting on
Grassroots groups, however, argued that the issue is not only the 15 per cent tariff hike. The more important issue is that of proper and transparent governance. The MB has already indicated that there is RM1.5 billion worth of water contracts in the pipeline. We must ensure that this is spent wisely; otherwise, we, along with our children, will be saddled with the debt. Some others opined that if we do not carry on until we get a positive response, then we might as well not attempt any protest when the FTA issue or the new health care financing scheme or new petrol price hikes are announced.
After quite some discussion, all the Coalition members present at the meeting decided that the campaign must be stepped up. On
Wish us luck, and at the same time keep an eye on what is happening in your state!