Establish metre monitoring authority, consumer minister suggests after TNB flap

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks at Yapeim's Inspirasi Ramadan event in Putrajaya May 29, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks at Yapeim's Inspirasi Ramadan event in Putrajaya May 29, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, May 29 — Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has proposed for a monitoring authority to be established, amid accusations that Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is overcharging consumers.

Speaking at the sidelines of a breaking fast event, the Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP said that the authority would be responsible to ensure that electricity and even water metres are properly calibrated.

“We need to improve on the weaknesses in the system. The metres should have a system that can verify it and it would be good if the system can be utilised for both water and electric metres.

“I’m not certain if we have such an organisation but if we can establish an authority to monitor the system, it would be better. Every electric and water metre has been certified and calibrated by a single authoritative body,” Saifuddin suggested.

When asked if the government should allow another electricity utility company to serve Malaysia and break TNB’s power monopoly, the minister refused to comment and said that it was a matter of policy.

At the same time, he said that the Cabinet had also discussed the TNB issue earlier during its weekly meeting.

According to him, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had raised the issue and Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin had answered in detail all the questions raised in the meeting.

Touching on how TNB can handle the matter, Saifuddin said the utility giant have a few options at hand.

“I’m sure they already have a plan on what to do,” he said.

“But from the perspective of a consumer, I think it is best that they give a rebate if the bill has been paid, or even cashbacks. If the bill has not been paid, TNB should issue a new bill reflecting the real cost.”

Earlier today, TNB gave its assurance it would refund excess payments made by consumers if said charges were found to have occurred on their respective electricity bills.

The utility giant in a statement said it is currently focusing on ensuring every customer’s complaint is investigated and appropriate action is taken.

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