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KeTTHA Passes Buck Back on Supplementary Water Deal Delay

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With reference to Menteri Besar Selangor YAB Mohd Azmin Ali’s statement as reported in the newspapers on July 8, 2015, the Ministry wishes to comment on a few claims that he made.

It is not true that the Federal Government has “dilly dally” in completing the supplementary agreement on the restructuring of the Selangor water supply industry. In fact, the supplementary agreement took a longer time to finalise due to the continuous and persistent claims made by the State Government of Selangor on two Federal assets, namely, the Semenyih Water Treatment Plant and Bukit Nenas Water Treatment Plant.

The ownership of these two assets has been confirmed to legally belong to the Federal Government although the State Government was given the right to use the said land on which the two assets are sited, to supply water to consumers in Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya on behalf of the Federal Government under the Water Supply (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) Act 1998.

More so, in the transferring of water asset to Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) by Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, the Selangor Government has refused to agree to provide the land required under this restructuring exercise to satisfy the requirement of the law (ie. National Land Code and the Water Services Industry Act 2006). This has caused further delay in concluding the supplementary agreement. While this is a requirement in all the water restructuring exercises, sadly this issue had been used by the State Government to make it appear as if the Federal Government is out to grab state land.

The Menteri Besar’s accusation that the Federal Government is the one delaying the agreement is unfair as our officers have been working round-the-clock to facilitate the speedy conclusion of this agreement. This includes having to look into a stream of additional requests and demands made by the State Government to be inserted in the supplementary agreement.

However, in the interest of the rakyat in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya who will continue to face water shortage for the next few years, the Federal Government despite having to protect its own interest and sovereignty, has been making unprecedented concessions to the Selangor Government, which are more than that given to other state governments where similar restructuring exercises were and are being carried out.

For example, one of the major concessions the Federal Government is making is with regard to the RM2 billion cash as financial assistance for the State Government to acquire the equity of the water concessionaires.

With the condition of the water supply in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya worsening, the State Government needs to be rational in making demands.   Instead of blaming the Federal Government entirely, the Menteri Besar and the State Government need to work closely with KeTTHA to conclude the supplementary agreement for the sake of the rakyat.

The Federal Government has done its best and everything it can to realize the implementation of the Master Agreement through this supplementary agreement. It is now for the State Government to reciprocate our efforts. As had been said previously, we hope to conclude the supplementary agreement the soonest possible. Otherwise, it may be up to the State Government to sort out its own water problem in Selangor.

The Federal Government will take other measures allowed by the law to protect the welfare of the people who have been suffering from water shortage and water cuts because of the inability of the state Government to act appropriately.

DATUK LOO TOOK GEE
(ENERGY, GREEN TECHNOLOGY AND WATER SECRETARY-GENERAL)

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