Lisa J. Ariffin, The Malaysian Insider
Putrajaya is being “vindictive and unprofessional” by insisting on the Langat 2 water treatment facility despite unresolved objections from Selangor, according to Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers critical of the move.
PAS MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider today that the state government should seek a judicial review of the decision to invite tenders for the Langat 2 facility, announced earlier by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“We have to bring this to court. Selangor has to check all the terms and conditions in their agreement with Syabas,” he said when contacted today.
“We have to file a judicial review because they are adamant to go ahead with the project. We need to bring this to court for us to get justice,” he added.
Selangor state executive council member Dr Xavier Jayakumar was dismissive of Muhyiddin’s announcement today, pointing out that Putrajaya cannot proceed with Langat 2’s construction without the state’s agreement.
He then accused Muhyiddin of giving prioritising an Umno-linked company over the “5.3 million people who pay 24 per cent of the total tax collected by federal government”.
Syabas is controlled by Puncak Niaga Bhd that is run by corporate figure Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who is the Selangor Umno treasurer.
Dzulkefly said the special Cabinet committee overseeing was making decisions based on political considerations instead of addressing the reported water crisis in the Klang Valley.
Suspicions of political intrigue in the wrangling over Selangor’s water assets were reinforced when Muhyiddin today said a water rationing exercise would not be necessary despite Syabas’s previous attempt to initiate an immediate ration, citing an inability to maintain uninterrupted supply to the region.
“The Cabinet had decided to form a special committee on the water issue. But have they made a fair decision for the benefit of the people and not politics?” he asked, adding Muhyiddin’s committee should conduct a “critical path and cause-benefit analysis” and “use intelligence when making a decision”.
Klang MP Charles Santiago echoed his colleague’s sentiments, and called for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on the water crisis issue “to compel Syabas to release true data on the condition at their plants”.
He also labelled as irresponsible Muhyiddin’s assertion that there were “legal technicalities” in the way of Selangor’s bid to take over Syabas’s operations without specifying what these were.
This morning, Muhyiddin said Putrajaya will refer the Selangor government’s planned takeover of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) to the Attorney-General as it involved legal technicalities.
“He should explain fully the ‘legal technicalities’ that are preventing the takeover,” he said.
“It is very irresponsible to say this, because the ‘substantive and procedural matters’ have not been established,” he said.
He also questioned the urgency in building a new water treatment plant if there was no need for water rationing in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya at present.
“It appears that the federal government has manufactured a water crises. If no water rationing is eeded there is no water problem. So what is the basis for Langat 2?” he asked.
“They are holding the people of Selangor to ransom,” he added.