Free Water for Apartments: SYABAS Terms Makes Troublesome for Residents

KLANG, 9 Dec: Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) action in setting strict conditions for the migration process of central meters to individual meters is the main cause as to why the Joint Management Bodies (JMB) and apartment residents cannot enjoy the free water supply given by the Selangor State Government.

In sharing experiences in dealing with the application, Batu Kuda Apartment JMB Chairman, Ahmad Ibrahim said that the State Government has actually eased the migration process however SYABAS has not given their full cooperation other than imposing stringent procedures.

He said that among the conditions imposed by SYABAS is requiring 100% of the residents consent including making new application through the ‘Switch Meter Clearance’ (SMP) form for each individual and to provide a meter deposit of RM130 per home.

In addition, the residents are required to pay the total amount of overdue bills and all plumbing costs as well as the costs of changing the meters are incurred by the owners.

“The conditions prescribed are very troublesome. Naturally they (Syabas) should understand that to execute all such conditions is not easy, many problems are faced by the residents and JMB.

“My experience in dealing with the applications was that the applications took a year to finalise after being rejected several times by SYABAS that I had to go to the SYABAS headquarters to try to get the free water (supply),” he told TV Selangor.

Ahmad further recounted the story of how the JMB of his apartment was forced to withdraw management funds of RM15,000 to advance the payment of outstanding bills.

He said that not only did he have to do that, but he also had to find the real owners of each apartment unit to get their consent.

“I personally sent notices to 450 apartment units to get their feedback. I faced many problems. That was just in the beginning. I only managed to find half of the owners. In the end I managed to collect them all (applications) after subsequent steps were taken,” he said.

In addition, he explained, the residents had to pay RM45 for each apartment unit for the modification of their meter while the JMB had to pay Rm5,000 for meter reparations.

“If calculated, the cost for modifying the converted meters of 450 housing units has incurred a huge sum which is RM20,200. That is by doing it ourselves. If we had hired a contractor, the price would probably be doubled,” he said.

In relation to that, he said that due to the conditions imposed by SYABAS, residents of other apartments have yet to enjoy the 20 cubic metres of free water apart from the fact that they are not getting cooperation from the residents themselves.

“Every resident should understand, as well as the JMB, do not blame the State Government, perhaps the application that has been sent to SYABAS is not complete,” he said.

Meanwhile, resident Hartila Md Daud, 42, thanked the State Government for always being caring towards the people.

“I hope that people of Selangor continue to support the current State Government in administering the state and to successively go on to Putrajaya because I have seen and felt it myself, the State Government has lightened my family’s burden by a lot,” she said.

Another resident, Imran Ismail, 44, hopes that the State Government will continue to take care of the people who are consistently being overwhelmed by the high cost of living.

“With this, the free water supply and many other assistance programs, it has to some extent been able to reduce our, the people of Selangor’s burden,” he said.

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