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Power tariff hike by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) not acceptable with 88% rise in net profit this year to a record RM 4.06 billion against RM 2.16 billion previously


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): DAP firmly opposes any proposed power tariff hike by TNB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh as not acceptable, greedy and irresponsible with the 88% rise in net profits this financial year ending 31.8.2007 to a record RM 4.06 billion against RM 2.16 billion previously. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that no decision had been made on the request following the escalating fuel price which exceeded US$ 92 per barrel. Even though the rise in fuel price hurt TNB, ordinary people are hurting more from rising prices in most commodities.

TNB was still able to achieve record profits despite the record fuel prices unlike ordinary Malaysians who are unable to make ends meet. Moreover, TNB continued to enjoy gas subsidies from Petronas. Petronas' cumulative subsidy since 1997 amount to RM 58.2 billion, of which RM 48.8 billion was to the power sector and RM 9.4 billion to the non-power sector. Subsidies are part of socio-economic measures meant to help the poor. Something is very wrong when subsidies are offered to huge companies to further pad their extra-ordinary profits.

TNB should cut costs, be more efficient and focus on productivity gains instead of taking the easy way out of increasing power tariffs. Such a tariff hike would be contrary to government efforts to control inflation. As a public utility owned by the public, TNB should suffer together with the public and not benefit at public expense. Despite the record profits of RM 4.06 billion, there are no plans announced by TNB to share such earnings with consumers. Where then is TNB’s social corporate responsibility by seeking a power tariff hike that will only add on to the financial burden of consumers at a time when TNB is making record profits?



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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