Sarawak will not increase water, electricity tariffs, says Abang Johari

Posted on : 13 Jan 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (seated fifth left) and his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang (seated fifth right) together with (from left) Asfia, Masing, Uggah, Jaul, Uggah’s wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, Fatimah, Manyin and Karim in a photo session with some 5,000 Kota Samarahan folks attending the Sarawakku Sayang launching today.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak will not increase its water and electricity tariffs after the federal government recently announced that other states in the country would revise their tariffs this year, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, since both utilities are under the jurisdiction of the state itself, the state government is dedicated to ensuring that all Sarawakians, especially those of the lower income group and from the rural areas would be able to enjoy those utilities without financial worries.

“We took over Bakun hydroelectric plant right after I became chief minister in 2017. Before that Bakun was owned by the federal government.

“This means we are now in control of our own electricity supply. That is why when the federal government revised the electricity and water tariffs in the Peninsula, we don’t.

“This is contrary to their election promises where when they come into power, everything will go down. Then now everything hikes including their electricity and water (tariffs).

“We own our own electricity and water, don’t worry, Sarawak will not increase its water and electricity tariffs,” he assured.

Abang Johari was speaking during the launching ceremony of the Sarawakku Sayang programme at the Kota Samarahan Civic Centre this morning, attended by some 5,000 folks from villages in and around the district.

On top of not increasing the tariffs, Abang Johari said the state government even offered to subsidise electricity connection fees for the lower income group and those purchasing low-cost housing.

He said if the electricity connection fee is RM5,000 or below, the state government will be subsidising 100 per cent of the cost, which, he said, would practically be free.

For connecting fee of above RM5,000 till RM10,000, the state government would subsidise 70 per cent of the cost, he added.

“Same goes for water supply. The first RM5 of your water bill would be subsidised by the state government,” said Abang Johari.

In December last year Water, Lands and Natural Resource Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar announced that all states in the country had agreed to revise their water tariffs for the year 2020.

“He said the water tariffs had not been revised over the last 20 years, and the water industry now requires a lot of funds to reduce the risk of supply disruptions.

However, the government assures that (new) water tariffs will not burden consumers,” he said.

Also present during the Sarawakku Sayang launching ceremony were Deputy Chief Ministers Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and some other state dignitaries were also present.