MELAKA, Jan 15 ― The Melaka government’s move to increase the state’s water tariff is regarded as “untimely” by its people with the current rising cost of living.
An engineer, Mohd Fadzli Mohd Fadzal, 34, who resides in Lipat Kajang near here, said the increase in water tariff would further burden the people who were already hard-hit by the increase in living cost.
The move, he said, also reflected the inefficient water management and governance by Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB) that the company had to “transfer” the burden of the rising management cost on the people.
“There are still many complaints from the people that have yet to get the SMAB’s response and this affects the people’s confidence that they may not want to pay more (with the increase in water tariff.
“SAMB and the relevant parties should have looked for ways to cushion the rising cost, instead of burdening the people who are already hard-hit by the rising cost of living,” he told Bernama here today.
Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari was recently reported as saying that the state government would increase the water tariff to help support the cost of managing and maintaining water supply.
However, he assured that the increase would not burden the people as incentives would be given to low-income families in the B40 category, as well as those who implement water saving measures.
He also said the matter was being discussed with SMAB and that the amount of increase had not been set.
Mohd Fadzli, who has two children, said the increase in water tariff should be in tandem with the quality of service provided by SMAB.
“If the state government decides to increase the water tariff, then the quarters involved should continue to enhance their services for the people,” he added.
Housewife Nurnadiah Ali, 33, said the increase in water tariff could result in further rise in the price of goods.
“My concern is that some irresponsible quarters might take advantage of the increase. hence, the need for the state government to carry out a comprehensive study to avoid burdening the people ,” she said.
However, Nurnadiah, of Taman Kesang Damai near here, said the announcement by the state government to provide incentives to low-income families in the B40 category brought relief to her.
A civil servant, Nor Ashikin Ahmad, 28, of Asahan here, described as “wrong timing’ the announcement by the state government to increase water tariff, especially with parents just having “suffered’ in meeting their children’s school needs.
“They are just about to feel the relief, also with the drop in fuel price, and suddenly the announcement by the state government to increase water tariff, this will certainly put pressure on the household economy,” she added.
However, she said, there was a positive side to it as it would help to educate the public not to waste water, especially with the incentives to be given to those who implement water saving measures. ― Bernama