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WATER CRISIS: Selangor BN says Khalid is deceiving the people
THE Selangor government’s standoff over the water issue has escalated as it now wants to take over the management of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced this yesterday, accusing the water concessionaire of being incapable of supplying water to the people. State Barisan Nasional coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed criticised the move, saying Khalid was deceiving the people with excuses.
Khalid refused to acknowledge that there was a water crisis in Selangor. He said Syabas’ plans to seek approval from the National Water Services Commission (Span) to institute water rationing was proof that the company was not
Zin, however, said the issue of water shortage was real and moves to take over Syabas’ management would only delay a solution to the problem.
In a press conference yesterday, Khalid claimed Syabas owed RM2.8 billion to water treatment operators as of April, adding that this was further proof against it.
“Syabas also failed to reduce the rate of non-revenue water (NRW) to 20 per cent, in addition to earlier audit reports revealing that Syabas had failed to implement its capex (capital expenditure) well.”
He said the state government’s move to take over its management was consistent with the provisions in the concession agreement between the state, Syabas and Federal Government. He said this was, however, subject to the Federal Government’s approval.
He said a letter would be sent today, requesting approval from the Federal Government and Span to take over the management from Syabas, adding that under the former’s key performance index, a reply would need to be sent within 14 days. Asked what would happen if the Federal Government did not approve the request, he said the state government would take several measures, including possible court action.
Meanwhile, he said the state government had requested State Secretary Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi and state water regulator Datuk Nordin Sulaiman to form a committee to monitor the water supply services provided
by Syabas and provide a daily report explaining the water situation.
He said the state government would hire three international audit firms to countercheck the daily reports submitted by Syabas. Zin, in criticising Khalid, said other parties, including experts, had warned the state government over the years that a water crisis was impending.
“Syabas now has admitted that it would have to ration water supply across the state. If Khalid does not believe it, whom would he believe?”
He told the New Straits Times that Khalid should visit residential and industrial areas, instead of "speculating from his office chair."
"By taking over Syabas' management, what is the state government's plan? Is it going to remove the engineers and experts there and replace them with others?
"Most importantly, can this move resolve the crisis once and for all?"
Zin added that Khalid's response seemed deceptive and never in touch with the crux of the issue.
Syabas corporate communication and public affairs general manager Priscilla Alfred said it would not make any statement until it received official directives.