Thursday August 9, 2012
‘Resume talks to restructure water services’
By LIM WEY WEN
PETALING JAYA: The Selangor state government has been asked to resume negotiations with water concessionaires to restructure the water services in the state.
This is one of the decisions made by the Cabinet committee on the Selangor water issue at its second meeting last Thursday.
“The committee has decided that the Selangor government can implement the restructuring scheme that was implemented in other states as long as it complies with the Water Services Industry Act 2006, all concessionaire agreements and existing laws,” said the committee in a statement yesterday.
The committee explained that the Federal Government's involvement through the Water Asset Management Company or Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad was limited to the takeover of liabilities and water assets.
“Therefore the committee does not wish to intervene in the Selangor government's efforts to take over equity in any water concessionaire as it is a commercial transaction based on a willing buyer, willing seller concept,” said the committee.
The committee also reiterated its stand that the tender process for the Langat 2 water treatment plant project would go on although a development order had yet to be issued by the local authorities for the project.
The committee said the decision was made because the production capacity of treated water even with the mitigation projects that had been approved would only meet the water demands of the state up until 2016.
“Langat 2 is our best option from a financial, technical and social standpoint to ensure that consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya receive sufficient water supply until 2020,” said the committee, adding that the Pahang-Selangor water transfer project was expected to be completed in 2014.
It also added that water concessionaire Syabas had proposed a contingency plan to deal with possible water shortages in future.
“The committee has directed the National Water Services Commission to review the plan before presenting it to the Government,” it said.
The special Cabinet committee, which was formed to look into issues related to water supply in the Klang Valley, is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
However, the Selangor state government was not represented in the committee.
After the first meeting on July 23, Muhyiddin said the Federal Government had rejected the proposal by the Selangor government to take over the management of Syabas.