Selangor water takeover ‘red flagged’


Rafizi Ramli cautions Selangor government of Putrajaya’s move to take over water concessionaires in the state

Lisa J. Ariffin, FTM

Rafizi Ramli today cautioned the Selangor state government to be wary of Putrajaya’s decision to invoke Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Wasia).

The Act provides the Federal Government powers to compulsorily acquire the water assets at a reasonable price in view of national interest.

“Section 114 of Wasia allows the Federal Government through the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to take over all assets, management and concession holder on the basis that such takeover feeds national interest,” Rafizi told a press conference here.

“The final result of invoking this Act is that all the water assets in the entire of Klang Valley will be under the Federal Government alone,” he added.

Following Putrajaya’s decision, water concessionaires in Selangor, including Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd and Gamuda Bhd, may be forced to accept Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd’s (KDEB) offer to acquire their water assets in the state.

In response, Rafizi highlighted several conditions that should be fulfilled by Putrajaya before their takeover of Selangor’s water concessionaires. Among the four ‘red flags’ are:

1. The management of water must still reside with the Selangor state government through a subsidiary appointed by the state.

2. The evaluation by the Federal Government for each takeover must be fair and completely transparent to the people of Selangor.

3. The contract and building cost of the Langat 2 water treatment plant must be fair and transparent to the people of Selangor.

4. A guarantee that there will be no water price hike until year 2020 by focusing on non-revenue water.

“My greatest fear is that BN will manipulate the situation and increase water tariff, hoping that the people of Selangor will punish Pakatan in the next general election and this will influence the results of the next GE,” he said.

“Therefore I hope the state of Selangor will continue to resist and fight if any actions of the BN government will lead to breaching the four ‘red flags’ I have raised.

“It is only proper for the state of Selangor to be vigilant and do anything in power to be careful of the political ploy of BN.”