Chong (centre) with Siaw Khian (left) and DAP Mambong chairman Sanjan Daik at the press conference.
KUCHING: DAP state chairman Chong Chieng Jen wants Sesco to explain how arrears are calculated as yet another account holder has been charged exorbitant arrears.
He told a press conference yesterday that account holder Chong Siaw Khian was unhappy that Sesco was charging him arrears for two accounts of his.
For Account 1, Sesco alleged there were arrears totalling RM6,917.50 due to a defective meter that caused Sesco to lose RM7,467.50 in revenue last year. The meter was replaced in October 2012.
Sometime this year, Sesco alleged Account 2 also had arrears, again due to a defective meter. The arrears totalled RM6,387.54 while loss of revenue stood at RM6,937.54. That particular meter was last replaced in October 2013.
Noting similarities between Siaw Khian’s case and previous ones, Chieng Jen believed the arrears had been derived arbitrarily.
“In the last few years, Sesco has been very zealous in changing meters and then demanding arrears caused by alleged meter defects.
“We found out that the Meter Department is given a target to meet every year, and their bonuses depended on it. This makes us very worried as to how they calculate arrears in order to meet their target.”
Chieng Jen, who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, cited a similar case where the High Court trial had concluded and was awaiting judgement.
“Same case. After meter was changed, there was no change in monthly consumption, yet there were arrears,” he said.
Chieng Jen said if the High Court judge ruled in the account holder’s favour, he must impose that Sesco provides a reasonable formula for calculation of arrears.
He added that he had written an official letter to Sesco to seek an explanation for Siaw Khian’s case.
“We will wait for their response before deciding what to do next,” he said, adding that Sesco’s letter to Siaw Khian did not mention meter tampering but mentioned having ‘detected irregularities’.