Selangor government is accused by Syabas and MWA for politicising the water issue
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Water Association and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) have criticised the Selangor government for politicising the water issue instead of trying to tunderstand it.
The association’s president Ahmad Zahdi Jamil in an email said: “either they don't understand water management or they just refuse to understand. They are just politicising it. Water loss (NRW or non-revenue water) reduction is not an immediate replacement of shortages. The process of reduction itself takes time and requires investment.”
He was commenting on remarks made by two Selangor executive councillors Yaakob Sapari and Dr Xavier Jayakumar who remain adamant that there are enough water supplies in the state despite numerous highlights on water crisis.
The Mole reported Selangor executive councillors blamed the concessionaire companies, Puncak Niaga and Syabas for mismanagement of the water resources.
Ahmad further added: “Selangor may have enough raw water but it is either polluted, scattered all over or not enough to cater for future demand. Even it is enough now but it is depleting. But remember those are raw water not treated. The Langat 2 plant is to produce treated water.”
He also said the issue of over working treatment plant should not be taken lightly as it is too risky.
“Just like over working your heart above your capacity at your age. It is bound to breakdown,” Ahmad said.
Several blog posts had highlighted on the water crisis issue in Selangor last weekend.
New Straits Times managing editor Datuk Nuraina Samad wrote Klang Valley is heading towards a major crisis worse than the 1998 water shortage.
Another blogger, Big Cat described the Selangor government’s unwillingness to cooperate with water suppliers and relevant authorities in meeting the needs of increasing water supply due to increasing demand is pushing things to the brink and a possible water supply crisis, worse than the one in 1998.
Syabas corporate communications executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som told The Mole the company did not mismanage the resources but the supply to consumers were done under tight conditions which were imposed by the Pakatan Rakyat-led government.
“When we took over from PUAS, the NRW was 42 per cent. Within two years we managed to reduce it to 32 per cent.”
“When Selangor changed its administration in 2008, the state government through SPAN (Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara) had ordered the capital expenditure to Syabas to be stopped.”
“Now, how can we further reduce the non-revenue water if we have no funds and have to operate under tight budget?”
“This is what happens when they do not understand water industry and try to politicise it,” Abdul Halem said.
He also criticised Dr Xavier's accusation in a news report that Syabas was one of the lobbyists for Langat 2 plant.
“What does it have anything to do with Syabas?”
“Our job is only to buy water from treatment plants and we will inform them if we do not have enough water to meet the increasing demand for distribution,” Abdul Halem explained.
“Even if there is a change of government, our job as water distributor remains the same. It is up to state government to build another water treatment plant or not.”