Four years after the Selangor government made its first offer for water industry consolidation, the situation could very well move back to square one.
Two out of three water companies are in, but Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) are still pondering its options, and without them, the offer is void.
This, however, has been the prevailing theme of the water consolidation exercise. The RM9.65 billion offer made by the state last week is its fourth, and all of them have been rejected by Syabas and PNSB — both entities owned by Puncak Niaga Holdings.
So what could be the way out?
Outside of the water consolidation exercise, water supply in Selangor has also been hogging headlines. Solving it, the federal government argues, will need the Langat 2 — a mammoth RM8.9 billion project involving a 45 kilometer tunnel pumping water from Pahang to Selangor and a water treatment plant in Selangor.
The state is opposed to it, believing there are cheaper options to sustain Selangor’s water demand. As such, it is refusing to issue a development order.
Advocacy group Association of Water and Energy Resources (Awer) believes that the federal government's decision to call for a tender without the state’s buy-in will result in a shoddy outcome.
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