Hornbill Unleashed

May 9, 2017

Chong calls for control of Sesco’s discretion in charging arrears

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for Chong Chieng JenThe state government must step in to curb the discretion of Sesco in charging arrears, said state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

Citing a recent meter-tampering case where the Kuching Sessions Court made a historic judgment against the power supply company, he said he took up the case where his client Bong was under-charged an amount of RM11,668.30 for the 36 months prior to the change of electricity meter at his house.

“His family’s monthly electricity bills before and after the change of the said meter remained at approximately RM70 per month. No charge after the said meter was replaced with a new meter.

“Bong appealed to Sesco but to no avail. I helped to write the letter to Sesco to argue Bong’s case but my appeal was also reject. Sesco went further to threatened to disconnect electricity supply to his house,” he told a press conference at state DAP headquarters yesterday.

Chong, a practising lawyer, pointed out that Bong was a semi-retired vegetable seller and from a poor family.

“This is a real case of a big corporate bullying the small common people. I took up the matter and filed an action in the Kuching Sessions Court in Dec 2014 for a declaration that the said RM11,668.30 is null and void. I charge no legal fee for taking up the matter.”

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said the trial went on for approximately ten days and Sesco called seven witnesses to support its case.

“The Sesco officer, under my cross-examination, admitted that there were two formulas that Sesco can use to derive at the alleged arrears amount in cases where meters were found to be irregular or tampered,” he disclosed, noting that the officer could not justify nor provide any explanation on the discrepancy.

“She repeatedly claimed that Sesco has the rights to choose between the two methods as it wishes.” Chong said at the end, the judge disapproved the unreasonableness and arbitrariness of Sesco’s manner in calculating the arrear figures.

“On May 3, the Sessions Court judge ruled in favour of Bong and decided that he is not required to pay the RM11,668.30 to Sesco. Furthermore, the court ruled that Sesco must pay him RM10,000 costs.”

He thus expressed that this case should serve as a lesson to Sesco. that not everything it alleges are true.

“Though we have won in Bong’s case, there are many others who have been unjustly mistreated but could not resort to legal recourse in courts.

“Ultimately, the government must step in on the discretion of Sesco in charging the arrear figures. I shall again bring up this matter in the coming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting to urge for fairer and more reasonable regulations and guidelines in such cases,” he stressed.

Source : @ The Borneo Post Online


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