Perak Hydro Workers

On 1st October 1982, the National Electricity Board took over the electricity supplies to the Perak areas from the Perak Hydro Electric Power Company and its subsidiary Kinta electrical Distribution Co.

Perak hydro served about 350 tin mining and industrial consumers and 368 bulk supply points to Kinta Distribution at various towns and village. Kinta distribution serves 102,147 consumers of which 88,362 were domestic, 12,595 commercial, 955 industrial and 235 public lighting.

The history of Perak Hydro, which started as a British company, went back to 1962 when it was given the right to generate, transmit, distribute and sell electricity to a large part of Perak including parts of Ulu Perak, Kuala Kangsar, Batang Padang and Hilir Perak. The Malaysian Government bought over the company in 1976.

The Perak Hydro workers, amounting to some 2,000 workers, and their union, the Perak Hydro Employee’s Union, support the programme of integration to establish a single authority for the generation of electricity in the country.

However, in the process of integration, the Perak Hydro workers are not being fully and fairly integrated into the LLN service, where their years of service, present salary, pension rights, promotional prospects are fully taken into account.

Although the Perak Hydro was a most profitable concern as a result of the co-operation and hard work of the Perak Hydro workers, the LLN has refused to recognise the years of service of the Perak Hydro workers, and treated the Perak Hydro workers as new recruits into the LLN service. This attitude is most regrettable, and although this particular issue has been referred to the Industrial Court, I would still urge the Minister concerned to cause a reconsideration of the matter to recognise the years of service of the Perak Hydro workers as years of service in LLN, for purposes of computing pension and other benefits. In such event, the case in the Industrial Court could also be withdrawn.

What is most disheartening to the Perak Hydro workers is the attitude of the LLN and the Ministry of Telecoms, Energy and Posts to the 300 odd clerical and supervisory staff, who have been made to suffer great reduction of their salaries and employment by LLN.

At a meeting between the Perak Hydro Employees Union officials and the Minister of Energy, Telecoms and Post, Datuk Leo Moggie, on 24th August 1982, the Minister promised that ‘perbezaan gaji yang akan diterima di LLN dengan gaji yang diterima sekarang ini dapat diperkecilkan lagi dengan syarat tidak melebihi had maksima yang ditetapkan dalam sekil sekim perkhidmatan LLN’ for the clerical and supervisory category.

However, this promise has been broken and as a result, this category of some 300 workers suffer pay cuts franging from 10 per cent to 54 per cent. Why has the Minister dishonoured his pledge to the Union that the clerical and supervisory workers in Perak Hydro would be put to the nearest point of present salaries when emplaced in LLN?

For instance, there is one employee who was drawing $1,040 clean wage after 12 years of service with the Perak Hydro Electric Power Co. Ltd., who was offered the salary scale of C11, with a salary step of $780 clean wage – involving a loss of $260 a month.

In accordance with the Minister’s promise, he should have been offered the salary of $1,000 under the same salary code of C11.

The 300 clerical and supervisory workers are suffering great hardships as a result of the failure of the Minister to honour his promise, as many of them had committed themselves to house purchase, sending their children for further studies, etc. There is the case of another 51-year-old Perak Hydro worker who was offered the salary of $1,240 in Salary Code C3, when he was drawing $1,779.60 in Perak Hydro, involving a reduction of $539.60. These are gross injustices.

I therefore call on the Minister concerned, Datuk Leo Moggie, to cause a review of the whole exercise of absorbing the Perak Hydro workers into the LLN and to honour his promise made to the Perak Hydro Employees Union on August 24 by putting all the 300 clerical and supervisory staff on to the nearest salary point in the LLN from the salary they were drawing in Perak Hydro.

(Speech by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang in Dewan Rakyat on the Supplementary Operating and Development estimates on December 6, 1982)