SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF NEW PBAPP 24-HOUR CALL CENTRE IN KOMTAR, PENANG
4 DECEMBER 2017
I would like to congratulate PBAPP for successfully setting up its new and improved PBAPP 24-hour Call Centre on the 58th floor of Komtar. It is good to note that PBAPP is consistently upgrading its customer services to stay in touch with the needs and expectations of Penang’s 589,797 registered water consumers.
In February this year, I launched the “myPBA” mobile application for smart device users. This is the first “mobile app” in Malaysia that allows Penang water consumers to settle their water bills via connected smart phones or tablets. “myPBA” also keeps the people in touch with news and notices from PBAPP. If you are not using the app yet, please download it from the “Apple App Store” or the “Google Play Store”.
PBAPP has also stepped up on its Facebook postings in 2017 to provide important and precise information to consumers, 24/7, on the social media platform. And, today, we are here to launch a new PBAPP 24-hour Call Centre in Komtar that is more technologically advanced, strategically located and cost-effective.
We must remember that PBAPP is Penang’s water supplier; and water supply is a 24/7 public service. Every day, 1.72 million people and all the businesses in Penang, including multinational manufacturing operations and 5-star hotels and resorts, expect good quality treated water from PBAPP. If their water supply is interrupted, they want to know “why”; “what” PBAPP is doing about it; and, “how long” it will take for PBAPP to normalise water supply services.
In fact, PBAPP is also proactively providing accurate information to the public on water supply issues, such as “Penang Dam levels”, “Sungai Muda”, “Logging in Ulu Muda” and the “Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme” that has been delayed by the Federal Government.
At the same time, PBAPP is promoting water saving tips and water saving devices, to encourage the people to conserve water at home and lower Penang’s high per capita domestic consumption. Penang domestic consumers use the highest volume of water at 286 litres/capita/day (l/c/d) in 2016, as compared to the national average of 209 l/c/d. In other words, Penang’s per capita domestic is 77 l/c/d or 36.8% higher than the national average.
PBAPP also used all its public information communications channels to keep the people informed and updated on water supply, in the aftermath of the violent storm that hit Penang on 5th November 2017. That said, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and commend the PBAPP team for their rapid emergency responses in support of storm recovery efforts in November 2017. For your information, PBAPP successfully completed the following emergency response operations in the period 5th November to 15th November 2017:
-Normalisation of water supply for thousands of consumers in the Jesselton, Pulau Tikus and Waterfall areas after repairing storm damage at 3 water treatment plants on 5th November;
-Deployment of 16 personnel from the 60th Water Specialist Regiment, Royal Army Engineers Regiment, Penang Squadron, to assist flood victims in Tasek Gelugor, Jalan Air Itam, Jalan Perak and the Taman Free School flats areas on 5th November;
-Normalisation of water supply for thousands of consumers in the Farlim housing area following a TNB power failure that affected the Farlim pump house on 6th November;
-Normalisation of water supply for hundreds of consumers in the Pearl Hill and Jalan Cheah Phee Cheok areas due to a pump house pipe failure on 8th November;
-Providing water tanker support during “Hari Sukarelawan Penang Bangkit” at Padang Lalang in Seberang Perai and Patani Road in George Town, on 11th November;
-Restoration of water supply for 2,214 apartments in the Green Garden Apartments compound, Paya Terubong, on 11th November; and
-Normalisation of water supply in all areas on Penang Hill after repairing the water supply system and relaying 50mm pipelines damaged by landslides on 15th November 2017.
At the same time, PBAPP also worked with MPSP to initiate emergency slope protection works at two water tank locations, in Taman Tanah Aman and Taman Seri Remia, Seberang Prai Tengah, from 10th November 2017.
Moreover, I would like to mention once more that PBAPP has stepped up to provide water bill discounts to all Penang water consumers as part of the Penang State Government’s RM105 million “Pulau Pinang Bangkit” aid campaign.
For domestic water consumers, PBAPP is providing a 50% discount off water bills and a 100% discount off the Water Conservation Surcharge, or WCS. The discount is valid for one bi-monthly billing cycle.
Domestic consumers who receive water bills for the bi-monthly cycle will see the discount in their next bill in February or March 2018.
For trade consumers, PBAPP is providing a 25% discount off water bills for two months, regardless of whether the trade consumer is billed on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis.
Trade consumers who are billed on a monthly basis will see the discount in their next water bills for the months of January and February 2018.
Trade consumers who are billed on a bi-monthly basis will see the discount in their next bills: in February 2018 or March 2018.
The total projected value of PBAPP’s “Pulau Pinang Bangkit” water bill discount is about RM15 million. This is a large sum of money, but it is a meaningful corporate social responsibility gesture that reflects PBAPP’s willingness to lend a hand when Penangites need assistance.
Please join me to record a round of applause for PBAPP.
On this positive note, I hereby officially launch the new PBAPP 24-hour Call Centre in Komtar, Penang. On behalf of the State Government, I wish PBAPP and TM ONE all the best in managing this facility as a model call centre for water services, not only in Penang, but for other water operators in Malaysia.
Thank You, and please keep up the good work.