By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
SANDAKAN: DAP Sabah has reiterated its call to government to review deals with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in order for consumers to benefit from a fairer electricity tariff.
Stephen Wong, the DAP Sabah chairman in response to the announcement by the federal government that RM468 million in subsidy will be allocated to accommodate the rising prices of coal and the generation of electricity, described it as unsustainable.
“The government will eventually increase the tariff if the cost of generation of electricity continues to increase, and it will be a matter of time that the government decides on a tariff review,” Wong said in a statement.
Wong who is also Member of Parliament for Sandakan said that the government should take on the IPPs who make lucrative profits over the years, saying all deals with them must be reviewed instead and power plants as public goods should be managed by the government itself to ensure public interest will be safeguarded at the first place.
The government, he said, paid a lot of money to IPPs every year and these IPPs are a huge profit maker at the expense of people who are burdened by high tariffs and yet get poor services, thus causing a double dose of unhappiness.
He stressed that it must be changed and the generation of electricity should not be a money-making industry, and the government should not help its cronies profit at the peoples’ expense.
Wong also opined that the extra allocations to subsidize generation of electricity have no difference to the increment of tariff.
“They are people’s tax money. Perhaps the election is near, that’s why the government wouldn’t increase the tariff now. But if Barisan Nasional wins the next election, then we can expect a higher electricity tariff for sure.”
According to Wong, Pakatan Harapan MPs as well as DAP representatives have repeatedly called on the government to review IPP deals and to overhaul the entire power generation industry.
He argued that the government had no necessity to spoon-feed the IPPs to maintain same tariff.
The only way to ensure people get cheaper and fairer tariff is for the government to get rid of the IPPs and make them public utilities that work for everybody.
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