Published: Thursday July 12, 2012 MYT 4:36:00 PM
Peter Chin: Federal take over of water concessionaires only in emergencies
By TEH ENG HOCK
SHAH ALAM: The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister's power to forcefully take over water operations from concessionaires under the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) only applies during an emergency.
Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said he could not speed up the restructuring of the water industry in Selangor by forcing the existing operators to sell their assets to the government under normal circumstances.
“I have the power to make such an announcement only during an emergency. Then I can take over (operators) Syabas, Abbas, Splash and others. But we have yet to reach a state of emergency,” he told the audience at a water forum here organised by his ministry.
Chin repeated his call to the Selangor state government to not link the water industry restructuring exercise with the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant.
He said the issue of water shortage must be addressed urgently, but there was plenty of time to negotiate the water industry restructuring deal.
“I asked the Attorney-General if I can tender for Langat 2 without the consent of the Selangor state government. He said no, because land matters are under the purview of the state.
“If I gave out the tender, the state can block the contractors from entering the site,” he said.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar, who is also Selangor Umno deputy chairman, said the state government should allow Langat 2 to proceed to ensure adequate water supply and only debate over the water tariff rates later.
“If there is no point discussing tariffs if there is no water to supply,” he told reporters after the forum.