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Friday, February 28, 2014

'Water MOU details the same as briefed to PKR'

Contents of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signedbetween the Selangor and federal government over the takeover of water concessionaires matched “what was already presented to PKR”, a source who has sighted the document said.

“The principles are the same as that which have been explained to the assemblypersons and PKR, DAP and PAS leaders.

“It did not vary, there was no change of conditions. The only thing was that they were not informed of was when the MOU was to be signed,” the source said.

This follows claims by party leaders that they were not consulted over the signing of the MOU, which may be made public soon.

According to the source, the RM2 billion which the federal government will give to the state government does not raise the offer price.

This means that the state will only pay the four concessionaires RM9.65 billion, the same as what it offered last year.

At the same time, the federal government will hand over the state RM2 billion in exchange for the state's water assets or equity in the water companies.

The water concessionaires will have to accept the offer made by March 10.

“If they don't, well, there is Section 14 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 and the federal government can do something about their licence,” the source said.

'Gov't to extend RM900mil allocation'

The Section states that the National Water Services Commision (Span) has the power to revoke concessionaires' licences.

The MOU also sees the state government agreeing to issue a development order for the Langat 2 water treatment plant, despite earlier reservations, as it is now packaged with the restructuring exercise.

The federal government also agrees to extend an “allocation” of RM900 million to the state government for approved projects to mitigate water shortage in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

The language used in the MOU suggests that this is a federal grant and not a loan.

Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is scheduled to brief the party on the MOU at 5pm today.

He was quoted by the Star this morning as saying that the state was only informed that the federal government was ready to sign the MOU on Wednesday morning - hours before it was signed.

“The MB and (Water, Energy and Green Technology Minister) Maximus Ongkili has worked on this for the past weeks and I believe even Ongkili wanted to sign this immediately after the cabinet agreed to it in order stop any more lobbying, including from concessionaires,” the source said.

The MOU signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, after the weekly cabinet meeting.

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