PKR out to scuttle Selangor water deal on purpose, consumer groups say


(MM) – PKR was attempting to derail the Selangor’s water restructuring exercise with the federal government to keep the long-standing issue alive for political ammunition, consumer groups alleged today.

Urging PKR leaders to stop meddling in Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s administration, Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) president Datuk Jacob George said the interference risked the progress made between the state and federal governments over the state’s water supply problem.

“What they want is for Selangorians to hate the federal government, so that it will forever remain a controversy and make headlines in the newspapers because they are out of issues,” George alleged.

“It is high time to allow the menteri besar to represent Selangor, as he was appointed to do, and the federal government to do their part, and for the matter to deliberated and resolved immediately.

Speaking at a media conference after participating in a discussion on the water issue, he said PKR was treating Khalid “like a dummy” and urged them to stop trying to undermine the mentri besar’s authority,

Several PKR leaders raised concerns when Khalid had agreed to Putrajaya’s move to bypass the state in the water restructuring process through Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA).

Several PKR leaders raised concerns when Khalid agreed to Putrajaya’s move to bypass the state in the water restructuring process through Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA).

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli and the party’s state secretary, Amirudin Shari, were among the first to question the collaboration, voicing suspicions of hidden motives by Putrajaya.

On January 9, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili announced that it is in the process of refining the details for a joint takeover of four water concessionaires in the country’s most industrialised state.

The minister noted that Selangor has also expressed its support to the federal government’s RM6 billion water treatment plant, Langat 2.

Rafizi previously cautioned that the revised agreement between the federal government and “new concessionaires” may end up being lopsided, as there are no provisions under the Act to allow the state to intervene.

Today, George added that the prolonged issue reflects poorly on the state administration as depleting water resource would deter developers and investors.

“The way PKR is behaving right now is as if the whole state belongs to them, that’s why you have the political crisis now,” said George, referring the removal of PKR deputy-president and Gombak MP Azmin Ali from the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).

Water Association of Selangor Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (SWAN) president Aldric Loong Kim Yew pointed out that Khalid possibly agreed to Putrajaya’s solution as it could be the last resort to put an end to the problem.

Loong said water reserves in the state are just above 60 per cent and temporary mitigation will not suffice.

He appealed to Khalid to remain steadfast on seeing the Langat 2 project through despite the criticism.

“It is crucial for the Langat 2 project to take off soon because it will take three to four years, provided there are no delays in construction, to be completed,” Loong said.

“The consumers should not be (the) one being punished.”