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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stop finding fault and work with Syabas, Putrajaya tells Selangor


Putrajaya has said water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) did the right thing warning consumers about the uncertainty of the water supply disruption in the Klang Valley which the state government had said "created panic among the public".
Energy, Green Technology and Water deputy minister Datuk Mahdzir Khalid said Selangor state exco member Elizabeth Wong should stop finding fault with Syabas and called on her to work with it for consumers' sake.
"I am satisfied with the action taken by the water concessionaire in alerting the consumers about the oil spillage and water disruption.
"Everyone is working to get supply back. So this is not the time to find fault. I do not want to talk about politics. Let's work together," he said after a visit to one of the plants today.
The Selangor government has locked horns with the BN government and Syabas, the main supplier of treated water in the rich state as well as the two neighbouring federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, for the past four years over the Klang Valley's water crisis.
Treated water supply in the country's most developed state was a major campaign in the May 5 general election after Syabas raised the alarm in 2011 of a possible crisis in the near future due to near-zero reserves at the state's water treatment plants.
The federal government has insisted that the state's water crisis can be best prevented through the building of the Langat 2 treatment plant, while the Selangor government has protested the multi-billion ringgit plant, saying that it is too costly and will not enable it to continue providing cheap water for Selangor residents.
Currently it gives domestic consumers free water for up to 20 cubic metres each month.
The undercurrents over this festering issue played out today when Wong lashed out at the water concessionaire for "creating panic among the public" over the diesel spillage at Sungai Selangor which resulted in massive water supply disruptions in the Klang Valley.
"Syabas need not have issued a statement to create furore and trigger panic. Furthermore, the source of the spillage is not as being claimed by the company," Wong told The Malaysian Insider today.
Syabas had classified the situation a Code Red and had last night appealed to consumers to use water prudently as the duration of disruption could not be ascertained.
Klang Valley folk were in a frenzy this morning snatching up bottled water at convenience and neighbourhood stores as taps ran dry.
Mahdzir said the situation had returned to normal but as a precautionary measure, the treated water samples would be tested every two hours for any contamination.
He said that the water disruption which affected one million consumers in seven districts in Selangor due to the closure of the Sungai Selangor Phase 1, 2 and 3 and Rantau Panjang treatment plants, can be avoided if the state has another water treatment plant
"This plant serves consumers in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. This is why we need the Langat 2 project so water users will not be affected," he declared.
The Selangor government, which is in favour of restructuring the state's water services industry, wants to take over Syabas
Earlier it had offered to buy Syabas, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH) and Konsortium ABASS at RM5.7 billion. The offer was rejected.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was reported to have increased the offer to more than RM9 billion after the polls to take over all assets and liabilities of the companies, including their bonds.

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