Dato Timothy Ong calls for review of pricing

Posted on  21/06/2012  |  Media Centre

Ying Chia and Leo Kasim

Thursday, June 21, 2012

DATO Paduka Timothy Ong, Founder and Chairman of Asia Inc Forum, yesterday called for stronger incentives and disincentives on the use of natural resources like water to ensure better alignment with the environment. “I think that water in Brunei is priced too cheaply, and we need to review the pricing (scheme),” he told The Brunei Times at the 5th edition of the National Environment Conference (NEC). Dato Timothy said that when a resource is priced too low, the result is often waste and consumers to treat it with no value.

Raising the issue during a question and answer session at the conference, he added that this would be no small feat to settle as “we need to study the appropriate level of pricing, or we will run into challenges” as raising awareness itself through dialogue platforms like the NEC is not sufficient to ensure change.

“I think what a conference does is that it allows us to hear different viewpoints and what I hope this conference will do is to increase self-awareness,” he said, adding that “while many of us think we know about the environment, we do not act as if we know.”

He said many people still buy large cars that are bad for the environment and clarified that he was not denying the consumer’s right to choose but when they are made more aware through the dissemination of statistics such as the 450 litres of water used per day per person in Brunei, “hopefully their behaviour and attitude will change as a result”.

“There are a lot of people who believe in the environment but they will be very reluctant at any attempt to price resources at the right level if it is something they have to pay for. We don’t mind other people paying but not ourselves,” he said, adding that awareness or education does not counter this challenge entirely.

The Brunei Times

Source: http://www.bt.com.bn/news-national/2012/06/21/dato-timothy-ong-calls-review-pricing