Thursday 2 June 2011

Reveal PPAs or face court action, gov't told

PKR today demanded that the government publicly disclose the power purchase agreements (PPA) inked with independent power producers (IPPs) within one week.

NONEFailure to do so, said party treasurer William Leong (left), would result in the government having to face a legal suit to force it to making the agreements public.

Leong said the government was duty-bound to reveal the PPAs and the long-term gas supply agreements between national oil firm Petronas and the IPPs, as it was the government's job to protect the interests of the people when these are threatened by private companies.

“Public interest prevails over the commercial interests of the private parties (under the PPA),” he told a press conference at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
Earlier this week, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin said the government had no power to make the PPAs public as the agreements were contracts signed between the government and private entities. 

peter chinHowever, Leong disagreed with Chin (right), contending that the people have every right to know why they now have to pay more for electricity.
"The power of the government to enter into contracts (with the IPPs) is derived from the people. The government is the trustee and servant of the people.

"Today, people are being asked to pay a higher tariff, so the people are entitled to know why the government entered a sweetheart deal with IPPs...
"The government should protect the people, not the IPPs."

Don't burden the consumers

Leong said it was important for the people to know the contents of the IPPs so they could determine for themselves if they were getting a fair deal.
reza zamhariWith the increased tariff, he stressed, it appeared that the government has decided to pass the cost of production directly to the consumers without affecting the bottom line of Petronas, TNB or the IPPs.

"If it (the PPA) is a sweetheart deal, then we have to go after the sweethearts, because this tariff hike is a bitter pill for the people to swallow," Leong said.

Apart from seeking a court order to make the PPA public, he added, PKR would also write to Parliament's Public Accounts Committee to urge it to probe into the matter.

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