Wednesday August 1, 2012
‘Water woes imminent’
By EILEEN NG
KUALA LUMPUR: A water crisis is imminent in Selangor with experts and non-governmental organisations predicting that the situation will become critical in two months’ time.
This was the feedback that the MCA presidential council was given yesterday.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said currently, water reserves at all 34 treatment plants in the state were between 1% and 3%. Normally, it should be at about 20% to cater for the dry season.
“If there’s no rain for a week or two, all of us will be in trouble,” he said after chairing the council meeting yesterday. “The experts felt that the affected areas will be Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Petaling and Ulu Langat,” he added.
Dr Chua said they had in 2008 predicted that Selangor would experience water shortage in four years based on the state’s growth, the ability of its 34 water treatment plants and due to the increase in water consumption.
He ticked off the Selangor government, pointing out that it was wrong to show the people pictures of dams brimming with water as the problem was not with raw or rain water, but with treated water.
He said almost all the 34 plants were “overworked”, producing more than their capabilities.
“The experts disclosed that in the past four years, there was no significant capital expenditure by the state government to repair and upgrade the plants,” Dr Chua said. “As a result, supply of treated water is not in keeping with the increase in consumption.”
As such, Dr Chua urged the Selangor government not to “play politics” over the matter as it affected eight million people, besides investors’ confidence.
On another matter, Dr Chua said the Higher Education Ministry had given Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (KTAR) the nod to be upgraded into university college status.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, had also agreed that the special funding for KTAR would continue.
That funding is to cover the institution’s capital expenditure and operations – between RM30mil and RM60mil annually.
Dr Chua also lambasted DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for not practising what he preached, showing a Sin Chew Daily report dated Jan 3, 2006, that quoted Lim as declaring that DAP would not return to Pakatan Rakyat if PAS insisted on its Islamic state ambitions.
“Six years later, DAP is still in Pakatan with PAS despite the Islamic party’s continued stand on the matter.”