Wednesday May 16, 2012
Chin: Up to Selangor govt to sue over water issue
SHAH ALAM: Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui is prepared to face the Selangor government in court over the state’s water issue.
He said it was up to the mentri besar to sue him, commenting on a news portal report that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim might take the Federal Government to court if it refuses to agree to the transfer of assets from water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) to the state government.
Khalid had previously mentioned that the water services in Selangor must be managed by the state government to maintain its free water scheme.
Selangor provides the first 20 cubic metres free to consumers.
Khalid had also said the Water Services Industry Act 2006 provides the power to the minister to ensure the water concessionaire agree with the state government’s water restructuring plan.
“If the state government wants to take over the water assets, they should negotiate with Syabas,” said Chin.
“I do not think the court is going to tell me to terminate the concessionaires’ contract, which is still valid.
“It is a simple situation here, there must be a willing buyer and a willing seller,” Chin said yesterday after launching the Sirim energy efficient lab to help electrical goods manufactured in Malaysia attain international standards.
Khalid, when asked if he would go ahead with the legal action, said: “We will do it when it is necessary.
“We have sought the views of international experts and have appointed a local legal firm.
“The question is, when is the best timing?”
The mentri besar suggested that all dams in peninsular Malaysia be linked, like in the way gas pipelines are linked.
“The cost of linking (the dams) is cheaper than building a dam in Pahang and an underground pipeline to transfer the water to Selangor,” he said yesterday.
Khalid said the cheaper cost of processing and distributing water would result in lower water tariffs charged to consumers.