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NOTHING TO HIDE: Selangor can send its professionals, it says
KUALA LUMPUR: WATER concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) is prepared to be transparent in all its daily operations.
"We invite the state government or anyone who wants to have a look at our daily operations," said technical services executive director V. Subramaniam in response to the Selangor government's decision to send a group of professionals to monitor Syabas' operations.
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said he had identified the professionals.
On the state government's plans to take over Syabas' management, Subramaniam said any such move must follow provisions of the law.
Khalid had invoked Clause 32 of the Syabas concession agreement under which the state government can take over Syabas, with the consent of the Federal Government, provided Syabas was in default of any of its obligations.
Subramaniam refuted Khalid's claims that Syabas had not fulfilled its obligations. "As far as our obligations with regards to services, they have all been met."
He said Syabas' failure in other matters stemmed from the actions of the state government.
"For example, the target reduction of non-revenue water cannot be met because we have to invest in upgrading our assets. But we are unable to do anything because our capital expenditure has been frozen by the state government."
He said the state could not expect Syabas to fulfil its obligations if it did not provide funds or approvals.
The Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) said the state government should stop misleading the public that the dams in the state were always full.
Awer president S. Piarapakaran said the issue here was not raw water but the supply of treated water. He said water experts were concerned that treatment plants in Selangor were being overworked and more strain on them could jeopardise the supply chain.
In Shah Alam, state opposition leader Datuk Satim Diman called on Khalid to step down as menteri besar, citing his inability to avert the water crisis.
"The water situation has been poorly handled and he has turned it into a political game." Additional reporting by Suganthi Suparmaniam