Electricity industry fund started during BN’s time, Najib reminds Yeo

Najib Razak asks former energy minister Yeo Bee Yin why Pakatan Harapan did not reduce electricity tariffs after GE14.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has hit back at Yeo Bee Yin after the former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister said Umno should not claim credit for handing out savings to electricity users.

Last night, when proposing that consumers be given rebates from savings in energy costs, Yeo suggested it could be financed by the Kumpulan Wang Industri Elektrik (KWIE) fund.

She said the Perikatan Nasional government had the funds to do so thanks to the Imbalance-Cost-Past-Through (ICPT) and Incentive-Based-Regulation (IBR) implemented by the former Pakatan Harapan administration.

Yeo also said that when she was minister, the government decided to increase the KWIE fund to be used during times like this to ease the burden of the people and stabilise electricity tariffs.

Najib, however, said the KWIE fund was set up in January 2016, while the ICPT and IBR mechanism was introduced when he was heading the country.

The former prime minister said the questions that need to be asked is why the KWIE fund has increased and where the money came from.

“It is due to the electricity tariffs that remained high as PH increased it a few times after the 14th general election even though the global energy costs had plunged to its lowest in the past decade.

“That is why the KWIE fund increased,” he said in a Facebook post, adding that even those in the manufacturing industry had wondered about this then.

Najib said Yeo and PH should be questioned as to why they never reduced electricity tariffs after GE14 even though the energy costs had dropped drastically.

The back and forth between Najib and Yeo was sparked by the government’s announcement of three months’ free electricity for those with bills of RM77 and below, benefiting four million users.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Shamsul Anuar Nasarah also announced that those who utilise more than 300 kWh a month are entitled to a RM77 monthly discount in their electricity bills for the April to June period. This will benefit 3.66 million users.

His announcement came in the wake of an outcry over a sudden spike in electricity charges since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18.

Najib subsequently urged the government to bring down electricity tariffs after a dip in coal and fuel prices.

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