Monday, June 08, 2009

whose electricity?

Malaysia is ripping out illegal electrical hookups in squatter communities, the Daily Express reports.

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd has a wonderful euphemism for these pirate wires: Non-Revenue Electricity.

But if the point is to get people to pay, to turn non-revenue into revenue, then why not work with the squatters to create a solution. It's such a simple thing, really. Just a slight change in mindset. The South African group Abahlali baseMjondolo has demonstrated in a series of reports that ripping out electrical lines in shantytowns causes deaths, as people return to using candles and lighting fires. There's a cost in lost revenue and a cost in human lives.

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