Why The Impending Hike In Water Prices?

by Patrick Liew on March 3, 2017

While it’s important to highlight the strategic value of water, the rationale for the impending hike in water prices have left many questions unanswered


Hence, the issue is still getting different responses from different quarters of society.

If the issue persists, the country will not be any stronger and if anything, it’ll not bode well in supporting our pursuit for greater unity and progress.

Why not increase the price of water gradually over different periods of time so that it’s easier to adapt to the changes?

Why increase water prices when the cost of living has generally gone up in recent years and when the job market and the global is going through a challenging time?

Why the steep increase in price and put added pressures on both businesses and consumers to adjust to the major change?

How can the Authorities prevent affected vendors from passing the increase in business costs to their stakeholders and also start a negative cascade of effects on consumers?

Besides making consumers feel the full price of water, what other holistic, catalytic and effective ways can we adopt to motivate consumers to value, conserve and use water wisely?

Just as importantly, on the supply side, how have the relevant agencies preserve and strengthen the culture of upholding cost effectiveness that our forefathers were known for in the earlier years of the nation-building process?

How have the relevant agencies exercise prudence, improve their productivity, and become more innovative in developing and improving the infrastructure for supplying water to meet our needs?

How have the relevant agencies consulted key stakeholders and tap their knowledge and expertise in resolving the issue before
revising water prices in such a major way?

In a bigger picture, the fact that the issue has raised so many concerns in Parliament and on the ground shows that perhaps our leaders could have done a better job in communicating the values of taking bitter medicine.

For example, saying that “the (new) price will be closer to, though still slightly lower than, the price of the next drop (of water) or LRMC (long run marginal cost) today” does not offer clarity to the issue and in fact, raise additional questions about the issue.

Our leaders can probably further improve their ability to Influence and persuade the people to take bitter medicine for the greater good of our country.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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