Selangor waste not Putrajaya’s problem

(The Malay Mail) – The Selangor government has to clear its garbage mess on its own.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said yesterday the federal government was unable to intervene as it was the state government’s decision not to follow suit with the “national scheme”.

“All the local authorities take their instructions from the state government. As far as policies in general are concerned, we (the ministry) decide the policies and hope all the local authorities implement them,” he said.

“Most local authorities follow our policies. But when it comes to rubbish collection or solid waste management, the Selangor government took the decision not to join the scheme provided by the federal government to wholly privatise management of solid waste and cleansing in the peninsula.

“When Selangor and Penang opted out, we were not able to convince them. So let Selangor do this on their own.

“The ball is in the Selangor government’s court to decide if they want to join the privatisation agreement. Earlier, we hoped to engage them but they refused for whatever reason.”

Chor said the mechanics of the scheme included the federal government topping up to RM500 million a year to assist the local authorities throughout the peninsula in paying their contractors for solid waste management.

“The government has been kind enough coming out with this scheme. The rakyat, irrespective of where they live (will gain from this) as long as the state government enters into this privatisation scheme.

“The rakyat need not be burdened to pay more for the disposal of solid waste. They just pay their assessment bills to the local authorities and the balance will be borne by the state government.

“We do have to pay more because the local authorities also have to incur more cost since the contractors have to buy new vehicles, follow a more regulated system with KPIs for contractors.”

He also said some local councils might not have the funds to efficiently handle waste management.

“The privatisation plan is not an overnight decision. It was decided 13 years ago and the contractors were appointed for an interim period. We have two agencies (Solid Waste Department and Solid Waste Management Corporation to monitor the contractors).

“We can deduct the contractors payment if they are not performing,” he said.

The solid waste privatisation agreement was signed last September to enable three selected concessionaire companies to make large scale investments in the latest technology and equipment, as well as a highly skilled work force.

Chor said the garbage bins in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Pahang would be managed by Alam Flora Sdn Bhd while those in Johor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan would be managed by SWM Environment Sdn Bhd, with Perlis and Kedah to be managed by Environment Idaman Sdn Bhd.