On 24-12-2014, I have filed a Sessions Court Summons against SESCO for over-charging its customer, one Mr. Bong.
The background facts of the case is as follows:
1. On 27-10-2011, SESCO changed the meter at Mr. Bong’s house.
2. 18 months later, SESCO issued a letter alleging that the meter was defective and that because of the defect, Mr. Bong had under-paid SESCO a sum of RM11,668.30.
3. The average monthly electricity consumption of Mr. Bong before the change of meter was RM71. After the change of meter, his average monthly electricity consumption was only RM69. Basically, there is no change in the recorded monthly consumption before and after the change of meter.
4. Despite Mr. Bong’s appeal to SESCO, SESCO insisted that Mr. Bong pays the said RM11,668.30 failing which SESCO shall disconnect electricity supply to his house.
While DAP does not condone electricity theft, we also condemn SESCO for exploiting its innocent customers, especially where there is no change in consumption level before and after the change of meter.
In Mr. Bong’s case, the alleged under-payment of RM11,668.30 implies that his monthly consumption level before the change of meter would have been RM400 per month. This is absolutely ABSURDbecauseuntil today, Mr. Bong’s monthly electricity consumption level is still well below RM100. The allegation of underpayment of RM11,668.30 defies all logics.
In such clear case of injustice, we DAP lawyers are prepared to defend the rights of the people in Court with token fee or no fee at all. However, we have limitation of manpower and time, especially when we are up against a multi-billion corporation financed by public fund.
Therefore, it is the duty of the Government to ensure that SESCO is not exploiting the people and abusing its power to disconnect electricity supply to coerce its customers into paying exorbitant charges.
At present, in any case of alleged arrears, SESCO’s customers can only appeal to the internal appeal committee of SESCO. In most cases, the internal appeal committee of SESCO will simply uphold its alleged arrears, even though there are glaring inconsistenciesin the figures, as evident in the case of Mr. Bong.
In short, SESCO plays the prosecutor, judge and executor roles 3-in-1. With such appeal process, how can anyone expect fairness and impartiality?
To prevent such continued exploitation of the people, the Government should set up an independent appeal board to address the complaints of the people against the exorbitant charges by SESCO.
Chong Chieng Jen
MP for Bandar Kuching
ADUN for Kota Sentosa