After four years of back and forth, the Selangor government last week put its foot down and said enough is enough. With this, it made its fourth and final offer to take over the state’s water concessionaire for a total sum of RM9.65 billion.
If the concessionaires are unhappy, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said, the water companies - Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash), Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd (Abass), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) - can take it up in arbitration.
Latest reports indicate that Selangor has won half the battle, with Abass and Splash indicating that they will accept the offer. This would mean 58 percent of the state’s water treatment capacity under the state’s control.
But analysts say that without PNSB and Syabas, the deal goes nowhere. This is especially so as Syabas is the sole distributor of water. Syabas is 70-percent owned by Puncak Niaga Holdings, which also wholly-owns PNSB. Holding the trump card is Puncak’s largest shareholder, and Umno-linked executive chairperson Rozali Ismail who holds 41 percent of the company.
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