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Why is Govt Not Pushing SESB for Compensation? - Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:    “It seems that the people and everyone else has suffered losses from the recent power blackout and asking for compensation from SESB but not the Sabah government and its leaders” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in response to the call by the Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chambers of Commerce for SESB to compensate consumers in the form of cash rebate or tariff discount.

The Sabah government and the federal Energy Minister should not have allowed the federal government to the 16.9% increase in electricity tariffs in the first place.
If the Sabah government and Sabah Umno/BN leaders are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the people, they would not have agreed to the tariff hike which indirectly is an excuse by the federal government to make Sabahans pay for the electricity supply upgrading.  

Sabahans should not be burdened and made to pay for the upgrading costs when it is the responsibility of the federal government to take care of this development.  Any ruling government, even if it is a Pakatan government, will have to develop the electricity supply in Sabah.   

This is more so given the huge amounts of money taken by the federal government from Sabah annually, not only restricted to the RM26.6 billion from oil and gas.   The Customs Sabah alone collected another net RM772 million in 2013.  Only the federal government and God knows how much more billions are collected by the other federal departments and agencies from Sabah.

Yet, as disclosed by SESB, only RM4 billion is needed to provide the same level of electricity for Sabahans similar to that enjoyed by the people in the Peninsula.

The denial of this RM4 billion allocation runs smack of discrimination and marginalization of the people in Sabah by the federal government.   Sabahans are not equally treated by the federal government.  The denial of federal flood aid for victims in Sabah and no allocations for roads and slopes repairs are good examples of biasness.

“Where is the equal treatment of all Malaysians that was proudly announced by the Deputy PM on Friday? queried Dr. Jeffrey.

As for the damage caused to the 500,000 consumers in Sabah and Labuan, there is no denying that considerable damage were suffered by them.

It is only appropriate and the right thing for the Sabah government to get the federal government to revoke the electricity tariff hike in Sabah and ask for the RM4 billion to upgrade electricity supply in Sabah. 

It is also appropriate and right for the Sabah government to get SESB to compensate the consumers in Sabah and Labuan for their losses.   An easy way of compensation for all consumers is to reduce the electricity tariffs as it will do away with tedious calculations and computations although it may not be adequate compensation for many consumers.

If the Sabah government is unable to do so, it can only mean that the current Umno/BN Sabah government is not the boss in Sabah but subservient to their political masters, even subservient to SESB in decision-making for Sabah consumers.

What actions that will be taken by the Sabah government and the Sabah BN leaders will show how concerned they are for the people in Sabah?   It will also show how effective Upko is in the BN government?

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