Tuesday 7 June 2011

Access to power purchase deals 'for MPs only'

The highly-secret agreements between Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and independent power producers (IPPs) can be released to parliamentarians, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Mukhriz Mahathir.

azlanHowever, he also said the power purchase agreements cannot be disclosed to the public, as these are confidential matters.

"In Parliament, when a MP asks for anything, we have always been transparent," Mukhriz told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
The Jerlun MP added that MPs also have legal immunity which may allow them to bypass the non-disclosure clause in the agreement.
However, he stressed that certain restrictions as stated in the agreements may be in force.

He was responding to a question as to whether the government plans to disclose the agreements after an outcry from the public and other quarters for the details to be released.

When pressed on the matter of public interest, Mukhriz said MPs are representatives of the public and that Parliament is the proper arena for matters of public interest, such as the IPP agreements, to be discussed.
Ctenaga nasional and electricity 031208oncern over the agreements which are said to favour the IPPs at the expense of TNB and ultimately the rakyat, came to a head after the government announced an increase in the electricity tariff hike with effect from June 1.

Some, including former TNB CEO Ani Arope, had criticised the mollycoddling of the IPPs as the reason for increased inefficiencies in the national power company.

This is a scenario that critics see as having led to the tariff hike, which threatens to burden the people who are already saddled with steep increases in the prices of fuel and essential goods.

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