Flat Residents Protest Against Syabas Increasing Water Charges By 72 Percent


KUALA LUMPUR, 21 JAN: Apparently, upon orders from the top members of the Selangor Water Supply Company (SYABAS – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor), about 4,000 residents of Pangsapuri Cendana (flats) have to bear an increase in water tariffs of up to 72 percent off the normal rate imposed.

That was the reason received from Syabas when residents protested against the water tariff hike, explained the Chairman of Pangsapuri Cendana Joint Management Body (JMB), Zulfa Asri Zulkifli.

According to Zulfa Asri, this happened after Syabas changed their building classification.

In a letter dated January 10, Syabas had classified their flat as a low-medium cost flat where water charges are 80 cents per cubic metre.

However, in the same letter, Syabas imposed upon them water tariff charges that are applicable to apartments or condominiums which is RM1.38 per cubic metre.

What was more frustrating was that the letter was dated 10 January while the recent water bill dated January 4 had already imposed the new charges for the residents.

“Our request to meet with Syabas officials to discuss this matter was totally unsuccessful.

“So we are only able to contact Syabas by phone, however the excuses given were clearly unreasonable, including their excuse of only receiving orders from the top,” said Zulfa Asri.

According to the water tariff rate list given by Syabas to Zulfa Asri, tariff code 17 only applies to flats, apartments or condominiums that are houses apart from low-cost flats and low-cost houses.

Tariff code 17 charges RM1.38 per cubic metre.

Meanwhile, low-cost apartments and low-cost flats are imposed water tariffs in accordance with tariff code 18 which is RM0.80 per cubic metre.

Following the sudden increase, the residents also wrote a letter to Syabas dated January 10 to protest against the tariff which is deemed to be burdening most of the residents who are earning a middle income wage.

When contacted for clarification, an official from the Syabas Corporate Affairs Division said that the company refuses to issue any statement at this time.

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