By Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang:
DAP welcome cabinet decision to give a 4-cent-a-unit subsidy to private electric companies and hopes that immediate action will be taken to restore power supplies in Paloh and Chalah
The Minister for Public Works and Utilities, Datuk Haji Abdul Ghani Gilong, announced in Raub yesterday that the government has agreed to give a subsidy of four cents a unit to all public licensees of power supply.
I welcome this Cabinet decision, and am particularly happy with this decision, as it showed that the Government has understood the problems faced both by private electricity companies and the consumers.
In Paloh, the people had been without power supply for about six months, while in Chalah, the people have been without electricity for about four months – because of electricity rates to be charged by the private electricity companies, which want to increase the old rate of 40 cents a unit.
On Oct. 20, the DAP Johore State Assemblyman for Kluang, Sdr. Lee Kaw and I led a delegation of representatives from Paloh, Chalah and Bekok and discussed with the Deputy Minister of Works and Utilities, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, the problem of the power shut-down. We were told that this matter would have to be referred to Cabinet for decision, for a subsidy to one arca in Paloh or Chalah will involve a nation-wide subsidy. In the event, the other private electricity companies have also benefited from this 4-cent a unit subsidy by the government.
I thank the Mnister concerned, Dato Ganie Gilong, and the Deputy Minister, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, for their help in getting the Cabinet approval for the subsudy.
It is now my appeal to the LIN authorities to take immediate action to get the electricity supplies in Paloh and Chalah restored.
I have been in touch with the LIN officials, and I have been assured that there would be no delay in getting the power supplies restored to Paloh and Chalah, once the private electricity companies agree to resume operations.
I note in today’s press that the MCA Member of Parliament for Kluang, Loh Fook Yenm is claiming credit for the cabinet decision to give four-cents-a-unit subsidy, and that he had been spending days and nights on the problem. I don’t know who Mr. Loh Fook Yen is trying to bluff, but clearly, the people of Paloh and Chalah have eyes to see for themselves. We in the DAP are not interested in claiming credit so long as we can fulfil the people’s wishes. Only those who have not done anything have to claim all the credit for things done by other people.