The price of electricity is going up in a couple of weeks. By an AVERAGE of 12%! So please don't think that it is ONLY 12% okay? As with every announcement of this nature it is accompanied by great comedy in the newspapers and from the mouths of our elected representatives although we have not yet been told to change our lifestyle again. Not yet la.
Wait...wait...wait...actually got already.
The front page of The Sun today..."the more you use, the more you pay."
Translation: Change your lifestyle la.
Wait, there’s more. On page 4 of the NST today the Energy, Water and Communications Minister was quoted as saying, “….low-income consumers won’t be affected.” Great news? Not really.
What is means is, “If you are quite happy to remain in that shit hole you will not be affected by the new tariffs.”
With so much comedy in the news today I had to buy all 3 English language papers, The Sun, The Star and The New Straits Times today. Didn't want to miss out.
The editor of The Star today ought to audition as a comedian I think. The headline today read, "Watts Up!". Very punny. Hahahahaha...can die laughing with the ceiling fan on la. I
It is reported in all the papers I bought that TNB's rates increase is not going to affect about 60% of Malaysian households whose monthly electricity bill is below RM43.60! Yippee!
But wait a minute...how is it not going to affect these people when prices of everything else will go up too? Eventually.
The LRT runs on electricity, right? Food in markets and supermarkets have to be kept fresh with refrigeration and that takes electricity, right? Cinemas, which is one of the few forms of entertainment that the same 60% of the population can enjoy on a day out with the family, uses electricity, right? Are we going to be given an assurance that prices of everything else, that Malaysians need to live with a quality of life that is even slightly worthy of a country that we are constantly told is better than Ghana, is not going to increase proportionately? Yes, I know. In a few days time there will come the usual warnings by this Yang Berhormat’s and that Yang Berbahagia’s to traders and manufacturers that they should not increase prices unreasonably so as not to burden the rakyat. Blah...blah...blah. Press conferences will be organised. Heads will nod in agreement with the YB's pronouncements. And then..."Errr...When do we announce the price increase of our goods and services ah?"
TNB took out a double-paged advertorial in all 3 English language newspapers today to explain the tariffs increase and to advise consumers on methods to reduce consumption. Use low energy light bulbs they say. Because they consume less electricity. Oh thank you for that revelation. Do these guys even know how much those low energy bulbs cost?
And this is my favorite of their ‘suggestions’. Set air-conditioners to between 25 and 26 degrees Celsius. Surely they are sticking their tongues out at us when they say that. Have they ever sat or worked in an enclosed room where the temperature is 26 degrees Celsius? Might as well tell us to shut off the air-con and go sit next to a fire.
Oh yes. I don’t know if this is tragic or side splittingly funny. TNB is going to realise RM1.5 billion in revenue with this price hike. But TNB plans to spend RM40 billion in the next 5 years to upgrade and improve their electricity supply system. So where is the rest of the billions going to come from? No prizes for making the right guess. Maybe somebody (Pah Lah should do this since he seems to have the ability to make so much sense out of totally senseless stuff around here) should answer this question. Why and how did a company like TNB who have been in operation for decades get itself into this shitty situation? With its long history shouldn’t it have developed and improved enough to keep up with demand in the 21st century? Or was somebody sleeping on the job?
Which reminds me…every time I have seen TNB people at work it happens like this…one guy is sitting in the TNB truck smoking a cigarette. One guy is up on a ladder doing something apparently useful. And 4 other guys are standing at the foot of the ladder looking around. Small thing? Sure it is. But maybe that contributes to why you and I are paying more for power today. Bottom of ladder stand-abouts don’t come cheap I am told.
And then as if to make us even more pissed off YB Lim Keng Yaik then says that TNB must improve its service. You mean their service has been not up to mark? That might mean that we are paying for their mistakes, right? So, why should we?
The YB also said that TNB must commit to a service level agreement which, if it fails to live up to that, it will have to compensate consumers in the form of rebates. Yeah right! That is SO un-Malaysian, YB.
Okay, okay to be fair to Lim Keng Yaik and all the other YB’s in the government there must be some perfectly reasonable explanation for all this mess. But as a poor working slob who is not too intelligently savvy about economics, I feel that it is not being explained to me in a way that I can understand. I’ll be the first to admit that if I did understand I would put my patriotic shoulder to pull my weight in the same direction as everybody else. Otherwise I just feel I want to string up those TNB flers on the nearest lamp post.
Okay, okay I digress from the funny stuff in today’s papers. Turn to page 6 of the NST today. There those TNB flers are teaching you “How to POWER up your life and save ENERGY”. Roughly translated it means “since you’re F**Ked we’d like to rub your nose in the shit a bit more”. They are saying …
“Use compact flourescent light bulbs”!!!!!!
“Replace porch lights with motion sensor lights or light sensor bulbs”!!!!!!
“LCD/plasma TV sets use less energy than older models”!!!!!!
So are they saying to us that there are ways of reducing our spending on power? Sure. Except that we have to spend loads of money FIRST before the savings begin. Otherwise you join the rest in the shit-holes and save right from the start. Your choice. Hey! We’re not anything if we’re not democratic.
Here’s something that is not so funny la. Someone in his PR department should teach the Energy, Water and Communications Minister that he should not smile when he’s just made an announcement that’s pissed off a few million people. Look at him…
“Ah…we only allow 12% increase only. So ah the lower income people will not be affected la. Yes, very good, very good.”
Notice that the TNB flers are not smiling… “how the hell are we going to raise the rest of the money?”
Okay lah. After all that ranting I guess we should all be glad that our electricity tariffs are the cheapest in the region except for Indonesia. And F**K! we’re having a way better life than those losers in Ghana. So…….
RELEK AH, BRUDDER!
A fellow blogger called me this morning and requested that I compliment the PR guys handling all these announcements of the electricity tariff increase. Good job guys. Great timing. When the World Cup starts in a couple of weeks nobody will remember or care too much about TNB. And when the World Cup fever ends after a month all Malaysians will go back to life in Bolehland which will still be better than Ghana.