New Straits Times

‘Consumers should be compensate­d’


KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers should be compensate­d for water cuts by water concession­aires.

Taking the example of Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) mechanism of providing compensati­on for power shortage, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associatio­ns deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said water concession­aires should also follow suit.

He said rebates for water cuts should be automatic.

“It is fair for consumers to ask for a compensati­on when they do not receive a satisfacto­ry service.

“Most of the time, they are affected for more than a day,” Yusof told the New Straits Times.

“Regulators should compensate for the trouble consumers go through.

“This is to ensure that their service improves.”

Bumiputera Manufactur­ers and Services Industry Associatio­n of Malaysia (PPIPBM) said the poor management of the Klang Valley’s water industry as well as the lack of an early action plan had affected businesses.

PPIPBM president Datuk Nurammar Abu Bakar said the associatio­n had received complaints from manufactur­ers, who claimed that they had suffered losses, on top of having to give their workers the day off as a result of the water supply disruption.

“This stems from the late notice. The worst affected are the food and beverage industry and companies that are unable to manage their products for import and export.

“I feel that the companies should be compensate­d (for the water supply disruption), or there should be legal provisions to enable users to take action over the poor management of water resources.”

Water and Energy Consumer Associatio­n (Wecam) president Saravanan Thambiraja­h said the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry must have an early action plan and study the need to increase the number of dams in the Klang Valley.

He said the current number of dams was not enough to meet the high demand for treated water.

“An action plan must be prepared in advance. Water is an important basic need.

“Businesses in the Klang Valley stand to lose millions from water supply disruption, not to mention the inconvenie­nce it poses to consumers.

“The situation this time is said to be more critical, so why wasn’t it done earlier and in stages?”

Saravanan said based on Wecam’s checks in Shah Alam, many residents claimed that they were only informed of the water supply disruption through social media and newspapers.

They also claimed that they were unsure about the emergency supply that they would receive.

Saravanan suggested that the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry draft an act to enable the National Water Services Commission to not only supervise water services, but also be in charge of the raw water supply.

“For now, we only have water reserves of between one and two per cent.

“If there is a drought, we have no reserves.

“Water catchment areas also need to be gazetted.”

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