by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
TENAGA Nasional Bhd (TNB) has denied a claim that it received an instruction from a director, alleging that the government has ordered to increase the electricity tariff by 30% following a hike in complaints over high electricity bills.
The national utility firm said the claim had gone viral on social media.
“The message, which was supposedly written by a TNB employee, is false and baseless. In addition, TNB does not have an employee with such a name as appeared in the message.
“As such, TNB has urged members of the public to ignore the message,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The company said any decision made on electricity tariffs are made by the Energy Commission.
Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail as saying TNB should have its electricity meters calibrated to ensure accuracy.
He said this was important to correct any weaknesses and ensure that electricity do not surge suddenly in the future.
“The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has a monitoring body to ensure that its weighing machines are certified. It would be better if the same system is used for electricity and water meters, if there isn’t any now,” he told reporters after attending an event organised by the Islamic Economic Development Foundation in Kuala Lumpur.
Saifuddin Nasution said the issue of the surge in electricity bills had the attention of the Cabinet meeting yesterday, brought up by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.
He said according to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, the matter had affected about 1.7 million account holders.
“Yeo also said steps were being taken to correct the situation and find out what has caused it. She also instructed TNB to resolve the issue,” he said.
Saifuddin Nasution added TNB should resolve the matter immediately for the sake of the consumers.
“I believe TNB has its own methods. If the consumer has paid, I hope TNB will give a rebate in the next bill and issue a new one to the consumers who have not yet paid,” he said.
Last Tuesday, The Malaysian Reserve reported the commission can initiate legal proceedings against the utility giant if an investigation finds proof of “negligence”.
This came following the Energy Commission’s report that there has been a spike in complaints regarding high electricity bills which had accounted up to 286 cases in May against the average of 10 cases recorded in the past four months.