Perak Consumers Association’s move lauded
It is indeed most heartening to read from the press (The Sun Valley, May 13, 2003) that the Perak Consumers Association (PCA) would be providing free legal assistance to consumers who have been issued court summonses for their failure to pay IWK bills.

PCA maintains that since IWK took over sewerage services from the local authorities there has been no corresponding reduction in assessment rates to compensate for the services, which the latter have stopped providing. This amounts to asking consumers to pay twice for the same services.

PCA’s ground against IWK billings can be further strengthened if account is taken of the fact that there is no contractual relationship between the consumers and IWK as there has been no formal agreement signed between both parties.

Furthermore, as sewerage service is a state matter, it brings into question the constitutionality of the Concession Agreement which IWK signed with the Federal Government and took over the administration of sewerage services from the local authorities.

Another strong ground, which PCA can use to challenge IWK billings, is the latter’s performance or lack of it in maintaining sewage treatment plants and sewerage systems under its jurisdiction. It is not difficult to find many sewage treatment plants are not properly maintained. Some are not even in operation. Raw or at best partially treated sewage can be seen being discharged directly into waterways.

Does IWK expect consumers to pay for it to pollute our rivers and environment?

The action initiated by PCA is indeed highly laudable and it is hoped that consumers associations in other states will follow suit.

Note: The above was published in The Sun May 17, 2003 2008