NEWS

Smokescreening water facts won't work this time

Khairy Jamaluddin

Published
Modified 6 May 2014, 2:20 am

COMMENT My article published in The Star on April 29 sought to provide clarity over what has proved to be a national embarrassment - that it is year 2014 and the richest state in this Federation cannot supply water adequately to its people.

I did so not for some cheap political point scoring, but because of Pakatan Rakyat's continued attempts to blame the federal government when the facts really point to the state government's actions leading us to this unfortunate juncture. And more to the point, in an issue concerning something as basic as water, the people deserve to know how we found ourselves in this mess and how we get out of it.  

The article was premised upon two very simple facts. First, the Selangor government's refusal to allow for tariff increase as provided for in the concession agreements, alongside its altogether failed attempts to purchase water assets, has led to the water companies, especially Syabas, failing to spend adequately to maintain the distribution system and reduce leakages or non-revenue water (NRW).

Second, the Selangor government's refusal to approve the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant since 2009 has also deprived Selangor of clean water supply it would have otherwise received. (If you remember nothing else from this article, remember that).

True to form, the Pakatan PR machinery moved into overdrive and within a day, we saw two responses - from Damansara Utama assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin and a former staffer to the Selangor menteri besar, Nathaniel Tan...

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