The PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB) Group is mindful that it has the responsibility to address the rights of the stakeholders and safeguard their interests. As the PBAHB Group moves from merely philanthropic activities towards sustainability, the Group will improve on how it can add further value in managing the risks and opportunities related to the aspects of economic, environment and social (EES) issues.
These three aspects of sustainability, namely EES, are not key financial drivers but over the last decades, they have become increasingly important to investors and customers alike.
The PBAHB Group recognizes that investors expect corporations, in undertaking business operations for profitability, would at the same time generate economic value for its stakeholders while ensuring that their business practices preserve the environmental for future generations and also add value to society.
PBAHB’s commitment has been clearly demonstrated in various initiatives we have rolled out over the decades.
Water is essential for life everywhere, every day. We have the primary corporate social responsibility (CSR) to provide 100% urban water supply coverage and 99.8% rural water supply coverage in Penang.
It is indeed a very significant achievement to be able to achieve this level, taking into consideration that the population in Penang in 2017 was 1.76 million. In 2017, the water consumption was 826.3 million litres per day as compared to 826.8 million liters per day in 2016.
We strive to maintain the lowest domestic water tariff in Malaysia so water supply is accessible to as many household as possible. Our domestic water tariffs for consumption of up to 35,000 liters per month are still the lowest in Malaysia, because the tariffs are subsidized.
The Penang Chief Minister, YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng has repeatedly stressed that Penang has to “avoid water rationing at all costs”. Thus, the Penang State Government expects more Penang consumers to develop the “habit” of saving water to avoid water rationing in this age of climate change.
PBAPP’s mission is to continue supplying water to as many Penang residents as possible every day, especially those in the lower income group.
For the benefit of very low-income households in Penang, PBAPP has been providing “interest-free loans” and tariff rebates for water supply connections.
Under the “Kampung Loans” programme, 90 households received interest-free loans totalling RM133,870 from PBAPP for water connections in 2017. The maximum income of these households was RM1,000 per month; and they were eligible for interest-free loans of up to RM1,500 each, payable by installments via water bills. PBAPP also waived trunk mains contributions for these “kampong loan” connections.
Under its Projek Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin programme, PBAPP provided two categories of support to 199 households totalling RM16,482 in 2017. The monthly income of these households was not more than RM770 per month. The beneficiaries were recommended by the Penang State Welfare Office or District Offices and endorsed by the State Economic Planning Unit.
The first category is for qualified premises without existing water connections, where one free connection is provided, from the main pipeline to the premise, to one tap.
The second category, for qualified premises with existing water connections, PBAPP provided a water bill rebate for consumption of up to 60,000 liters every two months (1 cycle). At the current tariff rate, the rebate is up to maximum of RM18 per billing cycle of two months.
Besides the two categories, PBAPP has also provided water rebates for Places of Worship since March 2009. In 2017, 1,788 places of worship which consists of mosques, surau, churches, Chinese and Hindu temples were given rebates amounting to RM71,080.
Large households of 8 persons or more can apply for the 60% WCS discount. Customers who want to apply may obtain the application forms from PBAPP’s nine Customer Care Centres in all five districts in the state.
As of 31 December 2017, 875 applications were approved with rebates totalling RM114,751.
As Penang is a water-stressed state with limited raw water resources and unlimited potential for growth, the subsidiary company, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) promotes wise usage of water in households.
Penang is the first state to introduce Water Conservation Surcharge (WCS) as one of the efforts to curb excessive use of tap water by domestic consumers. It aims to encourage households to reduce their per capita domestic consumption which was 302 liters per capita per day (lcd) in 2013. With population growth, this high level of domestic water consumption is not sustainable.
Starting 1 November 2013, the WCS was increased from RM0.24 per 1,000 litres for usage of more than 35,000 litres a month to RM0.48, as domestic per capita daily usage had increased to a record high of 302 lcd in June 2013.
In 2017, domestic per capita daily usage was reduced to 276 lcd, from 286 lcd in 2016.
PBAPP’s sustainable water supply programme in 2017 included the sponsorship of projects undertaken by Water Watch Penang (WWP) to promote water awareness and conservation. WWP is a non-government organization and carries out projects that help to focus public attention on the urgent need to save water at home.
PBAPP provided a grant of RM75,000 to WWP in 2017.
Top on WWP’s annual calendar is the commemoration of World Water Day in Penang. Since 1999, PBAPP has been actively supporting and participating in this event that highlights the latest information and trends related to water saving in Penang and all over the world.
PBAPP also took part in water conservation campaigns at schools, International GreenTech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and the Penang Green Carnival 2017 held at the SPICE Arena.
This programme was established to inspire and encourage Penangites to conserve Penang’s scarce water resources and contribute towards Penang’s water sustainability. It is a comprehensive initiative to reduce water usage.
The scheme is implemented through certification that recognises the water efficiency of an organisation. The certificate will be issued annually. Organisations which managed to maintain their efforts and have been awarded with the certificate for two (2) consecutive years will be recognised with a special incentive/reward upon their re-certification.
The programme is open to all organisations and industries in Penang who are large water users, i.e. companies, industrial institutions, hotels, education institutions, government departments, and any other business and non-business organisations. To date, PBAPP has certified 39 successful Aqua Save organisations.
PBAPP discounted all Penang water bills for one billing cycle, in support of the Penang State Government’s “Pulau Pinang Bangkit” flood relief efforts in November 2017. This caring gesture cost PBAPP approximately RM16.6 million in revenue but it was well appreciated.
On 28 November 2017, the Penang State Executive Council meeting approved the proposal of mandatory installation of WSDs in all new development projects in Penang to be incorporated under the Uniform Building By-Law (State of Penang) 1986.
Following the incorporation into the by-laws, the Penang City Council (MBPP) and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) may then enforce this regulation that promotes water saving on a large-scale and long-term basis in Penang.
Penang must continue to avoid a water crisis and sustain water supply sufficiency.
The installation of WSDs will promote a water saving culture in Penang “automatically“. The people and businesses can actively contribute towards water conservation, without major adjustments to routines and lifestyles.
The PBAHB Group of Companies has always been very supportive in the development of Squash in Penang. It started with the building of the International Squash Centre which is now known as the Nicol David International Squash Centre (NDISC) in 1985. Since then, PBA continues to assist in the maintenance and upgrading works to ensure the centre is in good condition as a training ground and also to host international events.
In 2017 the company sponsored the PBA Penang International Junior Squash Open Championship.
PBAPP also supported the Georgetown Festival 2017, a month-long celebration of the inscription of George Town on the UNESCO World Heritage Listing on 7th July, 2008. An annual event, the Festival is a feast of theatre, music, dance, film, art, opera, food, fashion, photography, and inspirational talks.
PBAHB also supported the 38th Penang International Dragon Boat Festival held on 2nd – 3rd December 2017 which attracted more than 2,000 dragon boat rowers from Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and the UAE. This event was held at the Teluk Bahang Dam and is a mainstay in Penang’s annual sporting and cultural calendar. It is a big tourist attraction and is recognised as a major state tourism event.
The PBA Group shall develop an approach to Sustainability to ensure a more holistic and integrated manner moving forward. This may involve developing new policies and procedures, implementing various initiatives, measures and action plans, setting indicators, goals and targets as well as reviewing existing systems that capture, analyze and report sustainability data and information.