Padungan rep slams SUPP for not speaking out against PETROSNiaga’s gas distribution monopoly in Sarawak

Chong Chieng Jen (file photo)

KUCHING, Dec 4: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has criticised Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) for ‘defending’ the State government’s move in making PETROSNiaga Sdn Bhd (PETROSNiaga) the sole distributor for subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders throughout Sarawak.

He implied that SUPP is defending the monopoly of gas distribution industry in the State, stating that the latter has also previously defended Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad’s (Cahya Mata) monopoly of cement supply.

“In the past, SUPP has used the narrative that Cahya Mata is a Sarawak company to try to justify the monopoly policy.

“The monopoly of cement has cost the house purchaser dearly for more than three decades, contributing to higher and more unaffordable house prices across Sarawak. Time has proven again and again, monopoly in any industry is detrimental to the rights of the people and consumers,” he said in a statement today.

Chong further said in the case of the gas distribution monopoly, not only the rights of the consumers will not be protected but even the 65 distribution dealers appointed by PETROSNiaga will be subject to the dictate of the company under such monopoly.

Therefore, Chong called upon the Sarawak government to compel Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) to sell off its 49 per cent equity in PETROSNiaga or approve two more gas distribution licences to prevent a monopoly in the LPG distribution business in the State.

“If the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government truly takes the interest of general Sarawakians to heart and wants the profit of these distribution rights only for Sarawakians, the government should then do the (abovementioned).

“As a component party in GPS, SUPP has been and is still blindly following whatever policies implemented by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

“It has totally failed to provide any input to amend the PBB-initiated policy for the interest of the people. That has happened in the past and is still so today,” he added. — DayakDaily