Following an expose online of the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) $160 million profit last year, the government has responded by clarifying that the profits for the national water agency were only made possible because the government had given it $200 million in grants.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman says that without the grants, PUB would have operated at a loss.

The concern over PUB’s profits comes after the government announced that water prices will increase by 30% over the next two years.

Some netizens have raised valid criticisms of the price hikes, with some questioning why the price hikes were still needed since the government is already using public money to heavily subsidize the PUB.

One netizen wrote: “Water supply was seen as infrastructure, funded by government or by charity, Mr Tan Kim Seng, we must not monetise it too much.”

Others raised concerns about how the government might not be telling the whole situation regarding the water price hikes.

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