Malaysiakini Letter

Six matters that Syabas’s management should do

Hannah Yeoh  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the ongoing water disruption in USJ 1 to USJ 15 (‘the affected area’).

On Aug 29, 2016, residents experienced dry taps and were then informed that the water disruption was caused by a drop in water level at the Bukit Jelutong Baru U8 and Hicom ponds. Subsequent updates from Syabas then revealed that there was a 1,500mm burst pipe in Section 15, Shah Alam.

Residents waited for two to three days before supply of water resumed on Aug 31. Within the next 24 hours, on Sept 1, water supply stopped again and left thousands of residents angry. This time we were informed of a technical problem at the Bukit Jelutong pump house.

As the state assemblyperson for Subang Jaya, I urge Syabas to do the followings urgently:-

(1) Have a more effective PR team to manage complaints. Many residents face difficulty in getting through to Puspel Contact Centre. Unattended calls resulted in frustration, uncertainty and water tankers not being despatched.

(2) Social media channel for Puspel such as Twitter should be unlocked to promote greater dissemination of information. Tweets on water disruption are not allowed to be retweeted.

(3) The current mode of disseminating information via SMS should be done for all affected Syabas customers and not just selected residents’ representatives. After all, Syabas should be in possession of their customers’ contact details and this will also reach the non-online users.

(4) A more accurate recovery time to be given in each status update.

(5) Clarity of schedule for water tankers making it convenient for residents to draw water.

(6) A detailed investigation and post-mortem to be conducted for each major water disruption and such findings should be made public with concrete action plan to avoid the same situation from recurring.

I believe the six points above are practical doable goals and not beyond the ability of Syabas’s management. Some of these complaints are not new to Syabas. It is not rocket science to figure out that doing the same thing over and over again will not yield a different result. Failure to execute such basic services reflects poorly on the top management of a major water supply distribution company like Syabas, otherwise a change in management is necessary.


HANNAH YEOH is state assemblyperson for Subang Jaya.

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