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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Selangor water more expensive if Federal government takes over

SHAH ALAM, March 17 - By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani | malaysianinsider

The Selangor state assembly passed a vote to urge the federal government to ensure affordable water charges in its talks with concessionaires Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Splash and ABBAS consortium and Syabas Sdn Bhd.

Sekinchan Assemblyman, Ng Suee Lim, told the assembly if the state government fails to buy over the water concessionaires, the price of water will reach RM3.83 per litre. This will make the consumption of petrol cheaper than water since the price for petrol is only RM1.80 per litre.

He explained that the concessionaires were in debt amounting to 6.4 billion, proving the companies’ are having a financial crisis.

However Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) is able to pay its chairman, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, a whopping 50.1 million per year, he said.

“This shows that the financial performance of the concessionaires are critical and almost bankrupt,” he said.

Ng also said that the concessionaires have breached their contracts by having direct negotiations and importing pipes from Indonesia.

“However the concessionaires have spent RM600 million for pipes from Indonesia through a supplier which is owned by Tan Sri Rozali. This is a conflict of interest,” he explained.

If the State government fails in taking over the water assets, the price of water will increased by 37 percent on April 1st 2009. The price of water will be hiked again by 20 percent in 2012, 20 percent in 2015, 10 percent in 2019 and 5 percent in 2021.

“We always hear many quotes that they are pencuri balak, pencuri boyfriend, pencuri saham, pencuri adun, merampas kuasa and we have not yet heard of penyamun air (water smugglers). Water smugglers in the modern era is Barisan Nasional,” he said.

The State government has promised that they will continue to provide 20 cubic metres of free water to domestic users while reducing water tariffs, if they are allowed to take over the management of the water industry.

He said the reason why all four concessionaires rejected the RM5.7 billion takeover offer by the state government is because they are being supported by the federal government.

“This is a form of bail out to help save their (Barisan Nasional) cronies and not to help the people.”

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