malaysiakini has this story about SYABAS collecting fees of RM50 each to reconnect water consumers whose supply has been disconnected for non-payment of water bills.
For some households RM50 is equivalent to a week's shopping bill for the family and RM50 does seem like too high a fee for a task that does not take more than 15 minutes of a plumber's time. The reconnection fee should be about RM20 to RM25 each as the subcontractor does not come out to do one household but perhaps 15 to 20 meters each day.
The difference in reconnecting is based on ease of work.
Ground floor will cost RM20 while above ground floor is RM25.
Consumers too should get their priorities right.Paying the water and electricity bills should rank higher than buying toys or McDonalds for the kids.
Some planning is also necessary if you are going away for a few months and you should either pay in advance or get someone to pay the bill for you.
As for those staying in flats, the laws should be amended so that each occupier has a separate account and not dependent on the management committee to settle the account.
The numbers being disconnected are staggering:
More than 500,000 consumers were penalised during the last 2 years in KL, Selangor and Putrajaya.
I daresay it surely reflects the struggle that many homes have to cope with the escalating costs of ordinary living. Should I say,
"Need to Change our Lifestyles?"