TNB to review mechanisms after backlash over steep bills

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

TENAGA Nasional Bhd (TNB) will be reviewing its mechanisms to address complaints raised by the public over high electricity charges during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Its chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said he and the entire management of the electric utility company, along with the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry (KeTSA) and the Energy Commission, will be conducting the study.

“When the MCO came into force on March 18, TNB meter reading operations had to be halted temporarily. As such, meter readings based on estimations had to be conducted and delivered to TNB customers for two months (March and April) through the myTNB app,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

In line with the current developments, actual meter reading operations have resumed since May 15, he added.

The latest bills received by customers thus indicate the actual usage of electricity since the MCO began.

“I am aware of the inconveniences and complaints made by Malaysians after receiving their TNB bills,” Mahdzir said.

“My mission is to ‘merakyatkan’ TNB when I was offered the position of chairman by the prime minister. This mission will remain as long as I hold the position.”

KeTSA Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah on Monday said his ministry and the Energy Commission had summoned TNB’s top management — led by its CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan — to clarify the matter in a meeting, with another discussion scheduled yesterday.

“TNB’s top management is required to present what they have done during this period so that we can see the issues raised as a whole. We will also provide an opportunity for them after listening to complaints and criticism of the people,” Shamsul Anuar said.

Consumers recently took to social media to vent their frustration after receiving high TNB bills that were far above their average previous charges.

In response, TNB had said this was because the bills were estimated based on past charges, given that actual meter readings could not be conducted under the MCO. It attributed the increase to more Malaysians working from home.

Mahdzir also refuted recent allegations claiming he is paid a large remuneration for his work at the company.

“The actual allowance received is much lower. Suffice it to say, it is very much lower than what is being claimed,” he added.

TNB denied the allegations in a separate statement yesterday as well, noting that Mahdzir’s monthly allowance is “actually far lower” than what was claimed on social media and “reflects his responsibility in leading a company with over nine million customers and assets worth nearly RM60 billion”.