SULTAN of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, in an interview with the New Straits Times last week, revealed that water is a big issue for Johor.
“Yes, it is a very big issue. We are not managing our water. A few years ago, I had cautioned my government about an impending water crisis.”
The ruler said the biggest mistake Johor ever made was to privatise Syarikat Air Johor.
“Don’t blame my menteri besar; he came later. Now, me and my MB are cracking our heads to solve this problem. It is an issue that causes me sleepless nights.”
Sultan Ibrahim also said the recorded rainfall this year was half of last year’s.
“You can ride a bicycle in the Congok Dam in Mersing. The two dams there have dried up. There is no rain. There is even water rationing in Mersing town. So, we had to take a bit of water that was meant for Singapore.”
He said the state did not have to look further than Singapore to learn how to manage water.
“Don’t be shy. Why must we look to faraway countries to learn? It would be a waste of government money. We must have recycled water for industrial use.”
The ruler said there were industries in Pasir Gudang which consumed a lot of water, amounting to nearly RM4 million of water a month.
“They get water, but the housing estate next door has no water. How do the people feel (about this)? You can’t simply transfer water from one river to another.
“While we want development, we must take care of nature to ensure that future generations are not affected. I have asked companies to work with the state to come up with solutions to overcome the water issues affecting Johor immediately.”