Penang exco Zairil Khir Johari said that there will be no water tariff hike to be imposed in the state for now. The chairman for infrastructure and transport committee said that it has been previously announced in Parliament by the Environment and Water Minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man that the federal government would not approve any review of water tariff in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic situation.
According to his statement today, he said that the minister’s statement during an online public consultation exercise organized by National Water Services Commission (SPAN) made it clear that there will not be any water tariff hike for now and that SPAN is mostly in charge of the public consultation as preparation for the tariff reviews in the future after the Covid-19 situation be put under control.
He also pointed out that it is not the state government that holds the final decision but the federal government. His response was in line with the Penang MCA’s call for the state to drop its water tariff review proposal following the public consultation exercise organized by SPAN from May 24 to June 6.
He said that the MCA should complain to the federal government if they disapprove the water tariff review. He also emphasized that SPAN does not only involve Penang in the public consultation exercise but also other states like the Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor and Labuan.
“In 2021, SPAN launched public consultation exercises for Kedah, Perak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Penang,” he said. Meanwhile, the claims made by the MCA vice-president Datuk Tan Teik Cheng saying that the water tariff rates in the state of Penang has increased more than 20 per cent over the course of 10 years has been answered by Zairil stating that the water tariff imposed in Penang was in fact the lowest in the country even though the water consumption of the state per capita was actually the highest in the country.