KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4, 2013): Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (pix) took a swipe at Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for hiking electricity tariffs.
Khairy, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister said the increase in tariffs is only to "pad up" profit for the utility company, which is more concerned with its shareholders instead of the people.
During his policy speech at the Umno Youth assembly today, Khairy said the hike is not in line with the increase of fuel prices.
In a press conference after delivering his speech, Khairy said he had brought up the matter to the Cabinet.
"I am bound by the Cabinet's decision, but as (Umno) Youth chief, I felt the need to raise it (displeasure over the tariff hike).
"There are two parts to the hike, one is about the rising cost of fuel, we understand that but TNB's profits are just too high," he said.
Khairy explained that TNB had justified the hike on the need to invest in technology and the low returns on its investment.
In his speech, Khairy said TNB and other government linked companies should not be overly driven by financial performance alone, adding that their responsibilities to the people must "never be forgotten."
On Monday, TNB announced that electricity rates will go up by 14.98% for Peninsular Malaysia and 16.9% for Sabah and Labuan beginning January next year.
Khairy also criticised the Selangor state government for raising the salaries of its assemblymen by a huge quantum.
He said that if the speaker's salary was RM270,000 a year, the speaker would get RM9,000 for a day's work based on the 21 days of sitting for the state assembly last year.
Khairy also called on the government to deal with favouritism, and discrimination against Bumiputras in the private sector.
He said non-Bumiputra companies discriminate against Bumiputras in terms of pay and recruitment, pointing out that none of these companies have a Malay chief executive officer (CEO).
Citing an example from a study done by Dr Mohammed Abdul Hakim from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Dr Lee Hwok Aun from University Malaya, Khairy said although Bumiputras meet the grade in terms of merit and qualifications, they still do not get a "fair deal."
"There are cases where they get a lower salary compared to other workers with similar abilities and qualifications.
"What is even sadder, is that we constantly see advertisements for work that clearly state their preference for one community, and marginalise the others," he said.
He added that although the Bumiputras are preferred in the public sector, in terms of senior management, there are a growing number of non-Bumiputras appointed as secretary-generals of ministries.
"Sadly, until today, it is difficult to see even one Malay CEO in a company that is owned by another community," he said.