GEORGE TOWN, Aug 10 — The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) said it is still awaiting feedback from the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) on a water conservation surcharge (WCS) review.
PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said it was PBAPP that was applying for the WCS review, not the Penang state government.
"All official PBAPP correspondence related to this matter were issued and signed by the Chief Executive Officer of PBAPP," he stressed in a statement issued today.
"Please note that PBAPP is a fully owned subsidiary of PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB), a company that is listed on the Main Board of the Bursa Malaysia," he added.
He pointed out that PBAPP was a private company and PBAHB a public listed entity.
"We are not a government department, government agency or statutory body," he said.
Jaseni's statement came in the midst of a debate in these few weeks between SPAN chairman Liang Teck Meng and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over PBAPP's application for the WCS review.
He said Liang's recent public remarks in relation to PBAPP’s WCS review application are unprecedented and may contravene Section 41(1) of the SPAN Act 2006.
Section 41(1) of the SPAN Act states that no member of SPAN or its committees or employee shall disclose any information obtained by him in the course of his duties and that no other person with means access to any information relating to the affairs of the commission shall disclose such information.
Those found guilty of an offence are liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
Jaseni confirmed that PBAPP has submitted private and confidential documents, detailing a three-year business plan, revenue estimates and capital expenditure projections to SPAN.
PBABB applied officially for a WCS review on April 28, 2017.
"PBAPP’s correspondence with SPAN on the WCS review has been addressed to the CEO of SPAN, Datuk Mohd Ridhuan Ismail," he said.
He said Mohd Ridhuan has been replying officially to PBAPP on the WCS review.
"PBAPP has not sent any letters to SPAN Chairman Liang Teck Meng, and we have not corresponded with Liang on this matter," he stated.
In the latest correspondence, Jaseni said PBAPP sent an official letter dated June 23, 2017 to SPAN requesting it to facilitate the approval of the WCS review.
PBAPP wrote again to the CEO of SPAN on August 7, this year to request for an official reply to the WCS review application.
"As such, it should be noted that the WCS review is an official matter between SPAN and PBAPP.
"It is not a matter that involves the Penang State Government or the Penang Chief Minister," he said.
Jaseni said Lim may be the chairman of PBAPP and PBAHB, but stressed that Lim is a non-executive chairman who has not played an executive role in the application.
He also reminded SPAN that it was PBAPP, and not the Penang state government, that paid RM3.34 million in licensing fees to SPAN in 2016.
"We are only interested in the timely approval of the WCS review, PBAPP is not interested in discussing the details of a withdrawn tariff review that is no longer relevant to Penang and its people," he said.