Minister tells ‘no backbone’ Azmin to name price to restructure Selangor’s water plan
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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was today urged to name a price for the takeover of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) to complete the water restructuring exercise that started four years ago.
Energy, Green Technology and Water minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili told the Dewan Rakyat today that the federal government can only intervene to give financial assistance once an agreement is met between the state government and Splash.
“Bandar Tun Razak was involved in the water restructuring process from the beginning until the three water concessionaires was taken over. I wonder why the current mentri besar is afraid to follow the steps of Bandar Tun Razak to name the price,” he said, referring to Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who was Selangor MB from 2008 to 2014.
“The current mentri besar does not have a backbone to boldly name a price. Do it now, and then we can sit down and see how the Federal government can help. Otherwise you will continue making the people suffer,” Ongkili added.
During Question Time earlier, Khalid had proposed for Purajaya to execute a clause under the Water Services Industry Act (Act 655) to help solve the restructuring deal.
Ongkili said the government can use Act 655 to intervene in terms of national security, but added that he hoped Selangor would find a solution to carry out the planned water restructuring exercise based on the “willing-buyer, willing-seller” principle.
“If the situation continues, we will see the legal options we have including under Act 655.
“We hope the deal would be met, where I do not have to declare on behalf of the Federal government to declare water emergency using the Act, which the restructuring will be under the control of the Federal administration,” he said.
The three Selangor water concessionaries, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd (Abass), were taken over in September 2014 under Khalid's administration, whereby Air Selangor Sdn Bhd took over the operations and maintenance of the water treatment plants as well as the water supply service from the three concessionaires.
Under the current restructuring exercise, Splash is the sole remaining water concessionaire that has yet to be consolidated into the state water industry.