TNB tariffs freeze for SMEs hailed as a positive move

TEBRAU MP  Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said based on the current uncertain economic situation, the unity government’s decision not to raise electricity tariffs for domestic consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is positive.

He said previously the SMEs were ignored by the governments in power, but this time, the Pakatan Harapan-led government dealt with the situation differently.

“I welcome Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to announce that the previous government’s decision to raise electricity tariffs will not continue.

“Thus, the current government will not increase electricity tariffs for domestic consumers and small and medium industrial companies (SMEs), agriculture-based companies and food producers even though they have to bear the huge financial implications amounting to almost RM30 bil a year.

“This initiative shows that the new government is very concerned about the plight of ordinary people who are affected by the high cost of living and is also sensitive to the recovery process of SMEs after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.

He added the decision was also in line with his personal position because SMEs deserved proper protection, considering that they are the heart and backbone of the country’s economic growth.

On Dec 14, Anwar had said only multinational and large export-oriented companies will be subjected to an electricity tariff hike.

He also said the hike, would not be directed at households and SMEs.

According to Puah, based on the report by the National Action Council on Cost of Living on Tuesday (Dec 13), they decide that the earlier proposal to increase the electricity tariff will not proceed as this will burden the rakyat.

On the other hand, Jimmy Puah said a hiked in the electricity tariffs for multinational companies are welcomed since they can afford it, and it is in line with practices across the Asean.

“I also understand the rationale of the Government’s need to revise the electricity tariff for the category of giant multinational companies that make billions of ringgit in profits, because when compared to the electricity tariffs of other ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, the electricity tariffs in Malaysia are still at reasonable and competitive rates.

“For example, for heavy industry, the tariff charged in Malaysia is almost US$ 7.76 per kwh (kilowatt hour) while in Singapore the tariff rate is US$ 12.72 per kwh, Thailand US$ 8.36 per kwh and the Philippines US$ 11.63 per kwh.

So I am confident in the Cabinet’s decision revising the electricity tariff for this category will not affect the entry of investors into Malaysia,” added Puah. — Dec 18, 2022

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