SHAH ALAM, 30 JAN: The State Government will be taking over the water services industry in 14 days, altogether ending the water supply management crisis in the Klang Valley and Selangor which has been going on for more than five years.
This effort is a result of the statement by Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently that the Federal Government does not have a problem with Selangor’s efforts to restructure the industry.
The notification of the takeover of water management from the concessionaire was made through a letter which was written by the Selangor Government to the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Kah Fui.
After 14 days, the State Government will begin payment negotiations with four concession companies to takeover the management of all water industry assets that involve supply, treatment, up till the distribution of water.
This decision was announced by Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in a press conference after chairing the Exco meeting recently.
According to Abdul Khalid, the period of 14 days is starting from February 4.
“We hold to the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement, as the Chairman of the Cabinet On Water, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in Sabak Bernam recently.
“(He) stated that the Federal Government has no objection for the Selangor Government to takeover the water services.
“Thus, in the letter, we have informed that the acquisition of the water services industry will continue during the 14 days if the ministry does not give any response,” he said.
Muhyiddin was reported saying that the Federal Government, since before this and currently, want the issue of water services to be solved by the State Government.
At this point, the operations of treated water is being managed by concessionaires, Puncak Niaga Sdb Bhd, Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH) and Konsortium ABASS Sbd Bhd.
Meanwhile, the distribution of treated water is being operated by concessionaire, the Selangor Water Supply Company (Syabas – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor).
Abdul Khalid said that the offer price to the four companies will be determined through a process of international arbitration.
The State Government will abide by the decision of international arbitration in the event that it is decided that the State Government will have to pay more than the original offer.
On 31 January 2010, the State Government had offered compensations worth RM9.27 billion. However, the amount was rejected by all the involved companies.
“In a letter written by me, I will make an offer which will be accepted (by the concessionaires).
“If there is any price difference in price, the Federal Government has to agree for this matter to be brought to international arbitration,” he added.
Efforts to takeover the water services from the four companies is part of the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Government’s objectives in restructuring the water industry.
This is to ensure clean water supply to the five million people of Selangor can be distributed efficiently and at an affordable price.
The State Government is of the opinion that the water management under the four companies, primarily Syabas, is not satisfactory.
This is following Syabas original plan to increase the price of water by 37 percent, even though the company failed to reduce non-revenue water, which is water that is lost due to theft and leaking pipes, which now stands at 30 percent.
Syabas had also failed to properly maintain the water distribution resulting in the water crisis in Ampang, Cheras and Gombak early this year that caused 500,000 consumers to not receive water supply.