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Friday, May 31, 2019

Sand in Azumu's eyes

From Malaysiakini:

Perak's sand mining: A ticking time bomb

OPINION  |  MARIAM MOKHTAR
Published:   |  Modified: 
COMMENT | Perak is a mess because of poor leadership. At the moment, Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu is trying to outdo Umno-Baru.
He may have Mukhriz Mahathir's ear, having once served as his aide. He may have royal "consent" to be the MB, and he may be emboldened because Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no issue with him.
Developers, timber tycoons and mining businesses may ampu-bodek him, but Ahmad Faizal does not have the support of the people of Perak; from the Orang Asli in the interior to the fishermen on the coast.
The challenge is not to try to convince Ahmad Faizal that developing Perak does not entail indiscriminate logging, kow-towing to big businesses, ignoring the rights of the Orang Asli, or to championing white elephants like the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS).
The real challenge is trying to mobilise the ordinary people to take an interest in those things that affect (or will soon affect) their daily lives, and to question the authorities.
Many will say, "what can we do, we are only orang kecil" or "no point because we will not make a difference", or they just shrug their shoulders because they just do not care until their own lives are affected.
In the past, it was alleged that when villagers complained to the former MB, Zambry Abdul Kadir, compensation was offered and the villagers kept quiet, but the problem remained.
The current Perak MB Ahmad Faizal (photo) has lurched from one faux pas to another and here is another reason why Perak is a mess. DAP and Amanah are also trying to outdo MCA, MIC and PAS in appeasing Bersatu, so the grouses of the Perak people are being ignored.
The reason why disgraced Najib Abdul Razak (and Mahathir) rode roughshod over the nation was because their fellow MPs did nothing to censure them. This disgraceful lack of responsibility exhibited by the MPs and the rakyat must not be repeated in "New Malaysia".
The shoddy treatment of the Orang Asli by the Perak MB, and his blatant disregard for the environment, may be the most recent scandals in Perak; but many people are not aware of the potential environmental disaster caused by sand mining, both legal and illegal.
This is where Penang comes in.
Perak's sands are being mined, and shipped to Penang, to build its three artificial islands in the Penang South Reclamation Project (PSR). The houses and development of the PSR are for the emerging middle classes and foreigners. One is not against development. One is against indiscriminate development.
The developers, and a handful of people, will make a lot of money, but what of the fishermen in both Perak and Penang? Who will speak for them? How will they benefit?
So, why should Perak suffer at the expense of Penang? In neighbouring Indonesia, stretches of beaches have disappeared to build Singapore's artificial islands. Some of our sand was also used.
More Perakians should be aware of the dangers caused by sand mining. Fishermen are not the only ones affected. Those living close to rivers and the mangrove estuary will be at risk, as are the flora and fauna.
Penang will gain, Perak will lose
Penang will gain three islands, but Perak will lose out when huge gaps are left in the river and seabeds off Perak. The Environmental Impact Assessment of the PSR did not address the effects of sand mining. The United Nations advice on sand mining was conveniently ignored. Why?
The dangers of sand mining can be likened to a ticking time bomb. Who would have thought that dredging for something as innocuous as sand could be so lucrative, but environmentally damaging?
Villagers in Perak have already complained about riverbank erosion, because the extraction of huge volumes of sand has destabilised the riverbanks.
Water quality is affected. Water pumps in water-intake treatment plants, which supply us with water are damaged because of sedimentation. Maintenance or repair costs mount up. It won't be long before Perak has a water crisis like parts of Selangor.
Irrigation channels extract water from the rivers, but if the river and its banks are stressed by sand-mining activities, in time, farmers will complain that they cannot irrigate their padi fields
Sand mining will affect the mangrove swamps of Perak, principally in Kuala Sepetang and Kuala Kurau. The mangroves form a natural barrier, thus protecting the lowlands against storms, tidal waves, rising sea levels and tsunamis. Tanjung Piandang is a cape and is particularly susceptible to the effects of tidal movement.
Although four areas have been earmarked for sand mining, in the seas off Perak, shores as far south as Segari, near Lumut, will also be affected. This an important beaching area for the green turtles to lay their eggs. Many species of flora and fauna will become extinct. Fish, shellfish and crustacea live in fragile eco-systems. Crabs will die in the mud, as will coral.
Sand mining leaves underwater craters and exposes rocks. These will damage fishing nets, which are costly to repair (RM400 per net). Fishermen have already reported decreased catches. Soon, they too will have to give up their jobs, which have been handed down for generations.
Penang's vanity project has serious consequences to both states. The Penang Master Transport Plan (PMTP), which will be funded by the PSR, is an ill-thought out plan. Moreover, who wants another Hong Kong or Singapore? Penang has its own character. Why emulate others? The lustre of the Pearl of the Orient is fast fading.
What of Perak? At a meeting in February between the Perak MB, Sahabat Alam Malaysia and the non-governmental organisation Kuasa, Ahmad Faizal allegedly told the NGOs that he supports the sand-mining project, especially in the Perak River, because it will deepen the rivers.
Perhaps, we should advise Ahmad Faizal to read about the ill effects of sand mining in the Irrawaddy, in India and in California, before he issues press statements that claim that NGOs are undermining the development of the state. The Department of Environment, the Land & Fisheries Department, the Jabatan Bekalan Air, the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Forestry Commission and the Housing and Community Development agencies should also have an input.
The DAP has to counter the alternative meaning of the party, which is "Development Action Party", but Perakians have just one barrier to overcome - their menteri besar!

Menari Dengan Peguam, Itu Barulah Conflict Of Interest, Jangan Buat-Buat Lupa & Diskriminasi Pula..

Image result for adib - seafield temple

Inkues dalam kes Adib dan .. 

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Untuk kemudahan rujukan, boleh rujuk pada posting seorang peguam yang korang selalu samakan macam aku tu. Minta simpang malaikat. 

Sebelum aku ulas, aku suka nyatakan pendirian aku sebagai peguam yang mana golongan peguam gelanggang kita hanya di mahkamah. Bukan di sosial media. 

Jadi apa-apa posting oleh seorang peguam berkaitan dengan  cara peguam lawannya kendalikan sesuatu kes di social media adalah sangat tidak beretika. Lebih-lebih lagi posting tersebut menyelar tatacara peguam lawannya kendalikan kes. Sangat murahan taktik macam ni. 

Berbalik kepada Adib, bila Tommy Thomas (TT) cakap wujud konflik dalam kepentingan, pertama sekali fahamkan sifat inkues. 

Namapun inkues. Dia bersifat 'inquisitorial' bukannya 'adversarial'. Maknanya tujuannya bukan nak tuduh sapa salah dan orang salah untuk membela diri. Dalam prosiding inkues pulak takda istilah 'pihak-pihak' yang berlawan sesama sendiri. Ianya lebih kepada nak mencari punca sebenar kematian Adib. Sama ada dipukul, kemalangan atau lain lain. Takkan ada dapatan dalam peringkat ini siapa bersalah siapa tidak. Dalam keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan Malaysia ada diperjelaskan hal ni. 

Jadi, tak wujud isu 'conflict of interest' langsung sebab tak wujud pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan yang mana kepentingan mereka akan jadi 'conflicted' dengan perlantikan peguam yang mewakili pihak bomba dan keluarga Adib sendiri. 

Sekali lagi aku ulang. Inkues hanyalah bersifat 'fact-finding' sahaja. 

Kalau nak cakap pasal kepentingan, Jabatan Peguam Negara (AGC) pun bercanggah kepentingan bila AGC yang mewakili kepentingan awam bertindak untuk mengambil pendirian yang kematian Adib adalah disebabkan kemalangan. Jadi apa guna ada Hakim Koroner kalau AGC sendiri dah ada 'preconceived notion'. 

Kesan daripada tindakan AGC dengan pendirian yang diambil, sekalipun Hakim Koroner mendapati Adib dipukul sehingga menyebabkan kematian, AGC takkan mengambil keputusan mendakwa mana mana individu sebab dalam kepala hotak Peguam Negara Yang Bijaksana sendiri dah ada pendirian melalui keterangan secara afidavit yang Adib hanya kemalangan. Apooo!

AGC tak patut 'ambil apa-apa posisi'. Ini inkues bukan perbicaraan dakwaan terhadap mana-mana tertuduh! 

Kerana sifat inkues itu sendirilah dulu mahkamah berkali kali tanya kepada peguam Siti Kasim dan M. Visvanathan bila mereka berhajat untuk mewakili pihak kuil tentang apa kepentingan mereka dan jawapan mereka hanyalah mereka mewakili penganut agama Hindu dan betapa mulianya kuil tersebut dan hujah hujah yang pada pandangan professional aku sebagai peguam tak releven. Mahkamah Koroner sendiri tolak permohonan mereka. Boleh rujuk kepada Nota Keterangan untuk kepastian. 

Dah lama prosiding baru sekarang nak menyalak-nyalak pasal 'conflict of interest'? Syazlin tu dari awal dilantik tapi baru sekarang nak bangkitkan? 

Jadi secara rumusannya, pada aku alasan TT tentang konflik kepentingan itu hanyalah suatu 'afterthought' dan tidak releven langsung. 

Untuk posting peguam tersebut aku rasa untuk dia bidas tatacara kepeguaman peguam tersebut semasa prosiding sangat tidak beretika. Kita berhujah dalam mahkamah. Dan bila kita mewakili anakguam, kita kena objektif dan tak perlu terlalu 'personal' sampai nak komen pendekatan peguam tersebut. 

Kalau nak sangat concerned dengan conflict of interest, masa menari dengan kepala-kepala Kehakiman dan Pendakwaraya dalam masa sedang dituduh dalam suatu dakwaan dulu taknak pulak cakap pasal 'conflict of interest'. 

Lepas ni jangan nak siapa siapa samakan aku dengan dia. Hair routines aku lagi mahal. Kbai. -sozcyili

Pakatan Harapan’s Good Days Are Now Gone

But what is even more important is that all those factors that helped Pakatan Harapan win 5.5 million votes no longer exist. In just one year all those ‘contributing factors’ are gone. Nothing of what Pakatan Harapan said will happen if they won the general election happened. And if the general election was held again today, the result is going to be entirely different from May last year.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
As follows were the results of the May 2018 general election or GE14.
Note the following:
  1. Pakatan Harapan (PPBM, PKR, Amanah and DAP) won zero seats in Terengganu and Kelantan. The bulk of the seats were won by PAS.
  2. Pakatan Harapan did well for the parliament seats in Kedah but for the state seats they won exactly 50%. PAS and BN combined won the balance 50%.
  3. In Perak, Pakatan Harapan won a majority of two parliament seats and one seat less it would have been 50:50. For the state seats, PAS and Umno combined won one more seat than Pakatan Harapan, 30 versus 29 for Pakatan.
This is supposed to be the best Pakatan Harapan will ever perform and from here it is going to be downhill due to a number of factors.
First of all, Umno was arrogant. They did not think they needed PAS — and had Umno and PAS collaborated they would most likely be the state governments for Kedah and Perak.
Secondly, Barisan Nasional was fed false intel and was led to believe they were going to win at least 135 parliament seats. In fact, other intel indicated Barisan would win less than 90 seats but the higher-ups preferred to believe the 135-seats intel rather than the less than 90-seats intel.
We believe this false intel was an ‘inside job’ — Umno people who were agents of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad working to bring down Umno and Barisan Nasional.
In fact, even before GE14, PAS and Umno were already ‘talking’ but there were some people in the Umno inner circle who sabotaged the effort. For example, they reported to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that there had been a series of successful meetings between PAS and Umno when in reality they did not hold even one meeting right up to Polling Day.
Then come the famous Pakatan Harapan election promises that helped swing a lot of votes.
Life would be fantastic. The cost of living would be low. The Felda settlers were going to be rich beyond their wildest dreams. The GST would be abolished and no other taxes would be introduced to replace the GST. Toll charges would be abolished. Lynas would be closed down. Corruption would be zero. Najib and Rosmah Mansor would be sent to jail for all the murders committed in Malaysia, or at least five or six murders, and for stealing RM42-52 billion of 1MDB’s money. Petrol would be reduced to RM1.50 per litre. The ECRL would be aborted. The bloated 1.6 million civil service would be trimmed to less than 1.3 million to reduce the RM100 billion every year that the country needs to pay for the bloated civil service.
And because of all those promises, Pakatan Harapan won 5.5 million votes (or 45.7% of the votes) against 6 million votes (or 50.59%) for Barisan Nasional and PAS combined (or 4.5 million votes or 37.7% for just Umno and PAS combined).
The bottom line is, PPBM, DAP, PKR and Amanah combined won only 5.5 million or 45.7% of the votes while 6.5 million or 54% of the voters did not vote for Pakatan Harapan.
So, to say Pakatan Harapan is supported by the majority of 33 million Malaysians (like what the Pakatan Harapan people keep repeating) is a lie. Out of 33 million Malaysians (or 19 million Malaysians who are eligible to vote), Pakatan Harapan won only 5.5 million votes. And 5.5 million out of 19 million or 33 million does not give Pakatan Harapan bragging rights.
But what is even more important is that all those factors that helped Pakatan Harapan win 5.5 million votes no longer exist. In just one year all those ‘contributing factors’ are gone. Nothing of what Pakatan Harapan said will happen if they won the general election happened. And if the general election was held again today, the result is going to be entirely different from May last year.

Fire dept receives 103,998 distress calls in 2018



The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department received a total of 103,998 distress calls last year, 36,046 of which were about fire incidents.
Its director-general, Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, said the number, which surpasses the 100,000-mark, was the highest ever recorded in 10 years.
“It is somewhat worrying… the number of distress calls about fire incidents also saw an increase from 29,356 calls received in the previous year.
“And apart from fire, we also received distress calls for rescue (58,492) and special services (9,141). We also received 319 fake calls,” he told Bernama.
Mohammad Hamdan said the department was trying to reduce the number by identifying fire-prone locations and implementing fire prevention campaign which focused on the 4E principles, namely enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency management.
This year, a total of 45,528 distress calls were received from the public between January and April, involving 24,767 cases of fire, rescue operation (20,024), special service (593), and fake calls (144).
Bernama

Hindu NGO wants to work with Penang gov't to help Indian community

The Hindu community has pledged to work with the Penang government to ensure the welfare of Indians is protected and well taken care of.
Penang Hindu Association (PHA) president P Murugiah said the NGO met with Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and both sides agreed to cooperate over the matter.
Murugiah said during the meeting held in Komtar, he raised numerous problems faced by the Indian community in the state.
"Among the issues raised were the need to set up a home for senior citizens that also caters for Indians, and employing Tamil-speaking officers at service centres of the elected representatives to help the community," Murugiah told Malaysiakini.
Murugiah said the state was also asked to seriously look into the setting up of a Tamil secondary school in Penang as promised.
“We also request that Indian officers be employed at state agencies related to heritage and tourism, ” he added.
“PHA, being a body that serves the community in meeting its many needs such as finance, medical attention and education, needs some financial assistance from the state government.”
Murugiah also told Chow that PHA had conducted more than 500 burials of unclaimed bodies over the last 30 over years.
Educational camps
Most of the unclaimed bodies were from Penang General Hospital, old folks' homes and orphanages in the state.
"The unclaimed bodies included foreigners,” he said.
At the same meeting, another representative, Dr S Balasubramaniam, said the association is seeking support from the state government to conduct educational camps in schools for Indian students with disciplinary problems.
“A total of 21 schools have requested us to conduct the camps to help these students,” said Balasubramaniam, who is also the PHA education bureau head.
In an immediate response, Chow told the NGO that they could discuss the proposal to set up homes for Indian senior citizens.
“Being an NGO that has been involved in so many good works for the benefits of the community, we will also consider the appeal for grant, " Chow told PHA.
“I think Penang is blessed to have many NGOs working in different areas with different missions and objectives to serve the communities,” Chow added. - FMT

RAM projects Malaysia’s GDP to grow 4.6%

KUALA LUMPUR: RAM Holdings Bhd expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 4.6% this year, supported by resilient private consumption.
In a statement today, it said, however, lingering global and local economic uncertainties would keep exerting an impact on the capital markets and business sentiment.
Chairman Amirsham A Aziz said the corporate bond market remained healthy and as of April 2019, gross corporate bond issuance amounted to RM37.5 billion, mainly constituting sizeable issues from both the private and quasi-government sectors.
“Taking into account the better-than-expected momentum at the start of the year, and the anticipated steady issuance pipeline for the rest of the year, we have revised upwards our projected gross corporate bond issuance to between RM90 billion and RM100 billion for 2019, from RM70 billion and RM80 billion in 2018,” he said in conjunction with the company’s 28th annual general meeting today.
Meanwhile, he said RAM would remain robust and market-ready to face keener competition from the un-rated market and technology disruption in the financial services industry.
RAM noted that its core subsidiary, RAM Rating Services Bhd (RAM Ratings), has maintained its leadership in the domestic bond market, having secured 73% of the total rated new issues in 2018 while RAM Consultancy Services Sdn Bhd (RAMC) gained traction in driving sustainability services and environment, social and governance analytics.
RAMC is the first Asean-based provider of sustainability ratings and is the first registered observer of the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles, Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines in this region.
Another subsidiary, RAM Solutions Sdn Bhd, issued credit opinions to three ventures under the Investment Account Platform which raised RM46 million of financing in 2018.
At the AGM, RAM approved a first and final single-tier dividend of 35 sen per share for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018, on the back of RM44.32 million of revenue. - FMT

No need to wait any more, impose new study loan rules now

If I am not mistaken, I have written on issues confronting the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) at least three times already. Over this period, PTPTN has continued to procrastinate and waver like a rudderless sampan in the ocean.
For how long more does Wan Saiful Wan Jan, PTPTN’s head, want to wait? What is he waiting for? Which stakeholders has he not engaged enough?
If we are incapable or unwilling to make a hard decision, let’s not find excuses and go on talking about it. Is this not what PTPTN is doing right now? Another six months or one year and soon the next election will be around the corner.
It must be paradoxical if we keep asking the recipients of subsidies whether they would like these to continue. Similarly, I think it is irrational to ask loan defaulters whether they should face tougher action for refusing to honour their obligations.
Look, the government must make decisions based on reason and rationality, not popularity and appeasement.
Of course, it is not easy to please everyone. That is why we need a government that is able to make hard decisions by balancing the conflicting demands of various interest groups and also by ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the government is maintained.
We are in the digital age. I see no reason why PTPTN must make policies that uniformly apply to all loan borrowers or defaulters. It is time to “individualise” all borrowers and apply recovery measures based on the profiles and needs of each borrower.
A blanket travel ban on all defaulters is harsh because some are really in dire straits due to unemployment, illness or other hardship. But PTPTN can always examine the profile and updated information of each borrower.
Borrowers earning higher income and with lighter financial commitments can always be asked to repay more. If they refuse, I am sure tougher measures can be applied without triggering sympathy from others. On the other hand, those earning less should be allowed to repay less.
Let’s “individualise” the repayment of all borrowers by leveraging on the power of computers and information technology. PTPTN should stop wasting more time debating blanket policies because no two borrowers and defaulters are the same.
My concern is whether PTPTN has all this information at its disposal?
Sometimes I doubt it although I wish to be proven wrong.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.

Sejarah Negara Kita





Link :  https://youtu.be/L-0pOa8H1IE





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Abang Johari urges Sarawakians to remain united despite different political affiliations



Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said today it is alright for the people to have different political affiliations and different ideas about things, but they must unite as Sarawakians for the greater good of the "Land of the Hornbills".
In his message in conjunction with Gawai Dayak, which falls tomorrow, he said it is his personal conviction that Sarawak has to be administered and developed with the participation of all the races to be a developed state by 2030.
“We are not perfect and neither have all our wants already been fulfilled. In the rural areas where the majority of our Dayak friends live, they still need roads, bridges, clean water, 24-hour electricity and Internet connection.
“As Chief Minister, this is my humble message to our Dayak friends in conjunction with this year’s Gawai celebration. Let us learn to trust our fellow Sarawakians more than we trust others who come and go. Not all may agree with what I have to say here but, at the end of the day, Sarawakians are left to fend for themselves” he said.
On Gawai Dayak, he said it is a celebration that seeks to give identity to the Dayak community in Sarawak since its inception in 1963 and, equally important, it has always been an occasion signifying Dayak unity in their quest towards progress and advancement.
“I believe Gawai Dayak and Dayak unity have never been intended to segregate the Dayak community from other communities and neither is a Gawai Dayak rally ever meant to be a show of force to fellow Sarawakians of other races,” he said, adding that the Dayak are known for being hardworking and persevering in the face of hardship and adversity.
Abang Johari said he is confident that the Dayak community can play an important role in helping Sarawak become a net exporter of food and be a part of the agricultural and economic transformation by participating actively in the field of commerce and industry.
“I believe our Dayak farmers can make it good by commercialising their farming with the support of good connectivity and marketing strategy. This is where they have to transform their traditional subsistence farming to modern farming through the application of new technologies and digital marketing platforms,” he said.
He said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is also resolutely determined to ensure that the rural areas are well-connected, well-served with facilities and amenities, and the economic capacity is expanded.
Sarawak now has more money from the imposition of the five per cent tax on oil and gas products for export and the funds will be channelled back to the people in the form of infrastructure facilities, he said.
Bernama

TNB CEO says focused on resolving high bill complaints



National energy provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) today said its focus remains to resolve complaints about high electricity bills, this amid a minister's warning of a fine for power giant's reported technical problems.
In urging more disgruntled customers to formally lodge their complaints, TNB chief executive officer Amir Hamzah Azizan said all efforts were being made to address 14,469 existing complaints received through its Kedai Tenaga outlets and TNB Careline hotline since last month.
"From this figure 11,331 complaints have been resolved. Only 3,318 are still being investigated," Amir Hamzah told a press conference at the TNB headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Quizzed on Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change minister Yeo Bee Yin's statement that TNB will still be fined even it rectifies its billing problems, Amir Hamzah said: "At the moment, our focus is not to worry about that first."
"Our focus is to resolve this issue. That's why most of my efforts at this time are to ensure that we put enough people on the ground, more people in Kedai Tenaga and TNB Careline, extend hours and all that," he said.
Speaking in an interview during 8TV’s "Global Watch" programme yesterday, Yeo said TNB had already violated the Energy Commission’s standard for service levels, and that the sole electricity provider would still be penalised even if they corrected their slip-up.
She also revealed the Energy Commission had issued TNB a warning letter and an instruction notice for it to resolve all problems which the energy provider partly attributed to a six-day system glitch from May 15 to 20.
Amir Hamzah, who refused to confirm or elaborate on receipt of the letter, merely reiterated that TNB was focused on investigating and resolving all complaints received.
While declining to reveal details of the technical glitch, Amir Hamzah said TNB on average issued bills to between 200,000 and 400,000 customers a day.
He added the six-day downtime contributed to a large number of unbilled customers.
Ahead of the upcoming Hari Raya holidays, Amir Hamzah reassured customers that there would be no disruption in their electricity supply.
"And for those who have lodged their complaints and investigations are still ongoing, any disconnection notice (due to unpaid bills) will be postponed by two weeks," he said.
If it was found that a customer had been overcharged, he said the additional amount will be credited back to their accounts, a process which typically took up to two weeks but could be delayed due to the large number of complaints received.
To accommodate all the complaints, Amir Hamzah said the Kedai Tenaga outlets' new operating hours nationwide will be from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday except for public holidays.
TNB’s official Facebook page has garnered thousands of angry comments from netizens, many questioning why their electricity bills had skyrocketed for the month of May.
Some questioned if the charges were due to the incorrect reading from the new "smart meters" which TNB insisted is not true.
Commenting on the issue from Tokyo, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier today said there could be many reasons for the higher electricity bills, including a more accurate reading by the new digital meters used by TNB. - Mkini