PAS’ Husam Musa breaks ranks, criticises Kelantan govt

(Bernama) – Former senior state executive councillor Datuk Husam Musa broke ranks when he criticised the Kelantan government in the State Assembly Tuesday over a logging approval in the Ulu Sat Permanent Forest Reserve, Machang as well as the water tariff hike in August.

Husam described the decisions as inappropriate and a deviation from the concept of transparency and integrity.

The Salor assemblyman claimed that a 1,400ha concession area in the forest reserve would be awarded to a company soon.

He said when Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was Mentri Besar, logging applications for any parts of the Ulu Sat Permanent Forest Reserve placed as production forest had to be tendered.

“If I recall correctly, Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) said the Ulu Sat and Cabang Tongkat forests are lungs that produce fresh and clean air for the people of Kelantan. Let it remain that way for our children,” he said during a debate on the 2014 Budget.

Husam, who was state economic, finance and welfare committee chairman, said awarding a large tract of land to a company without a tender was very dubious.

“During Tok Guru’s administration, such a big area would not have been awarded to an individual after a simple two-page application and promptly considered,” he said.

On the water tariff hike, he said it could have been avoided if Syarikat Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) was prudently managed.

He said AKSB also failed to improve water quality and quantity although several water treatment plants had been upgraded.

Husam said although RM21mil was spent to upgrade the Jeli Water Treatment Plant to increase its production capacity to 10 million litres of water per day (MLD), it could only produce 6.6 MLD.

He said the Bukit Remah plant in Tanah Merah, upgraded at the cost RM16.4mil could only produce 36.6 MLD instead of 42 MLD as targeted.

The Pintu Geng plant, upgraded at a cost of RM52mil, could only produce 12.5 MLD, a far cry from its 30 MLD target.

Husam said despite spending RM130mil to repair burst pipes until July, non-revenue water (NRW) rate was still at 52%.

He also expressed his disappointment as the state government had terminated a contract awarded to a South Korean contractor for the construction of a highway initiated by him and approved two years ago.