PKR Investment and Trade Bureau chief Wong Chen has claimed that a family member of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is linked to one of the companies which supplies new meters to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
At a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today, he claimed that Abdullah’s close relative was a director in a firm, which in turn had a 15 percent stake in the company which supplied the meters.
“This is a fact, we are not accusing anyone but it would be best for TNB to come forward and explain before the public links this to other matters such as cronyism,” Wong (left) said.
The names of the companies involved and the name of Abdullah's relative are withheld in this report pending their reply to Malaysiakini's request for comments.
TNB had last October suspended its meter replacement programme following complaints from consumers that they were being overcharged after the meter change.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui had reportedly said that the suspension will remain until guidelines for the programme are drafted and electricity tariffs would be maintained until June next year.
Elaborating on this, Wong estimated that consumers will bear as much as RM688 million a year if the new meters calculate electricity bills at an increased rate of two percent.
He added that TNB is also expected to foot RM2 billion in cost for the new meters, estimated at RM250 each for 8.03 million consumers.
“Based on the 10-year lifespan of these meters, consumers will eventually pay a total of RM6.88 billion extra to TNB in a period of 10 years,” he added.
Also present at the press conference was PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who called on TNB to make public the details of the meter supply tender.
“This is necessary as it is of national interest and involves billions of ringgit,” he said.
The Seri Setia state assemblyperson said he has received 22 complaints from consumers who claimed that their bill had spiked by 20 to 50 percent after their meters were replaced.
He noted that TNB had claimed that the new meters were better and more accurate but in light of recent developments, TNB should investigate the matter.