PKR says ‘unaware’ of water deal, wants Selangor to explain


(MM) – PKR said today it was unaware of the newly-minted agreement between Selangor and Putrajaya to reorganise water utility in the state, and is now demanding an explanation from the state government.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli told The Malay Mail Online that the Selangor government, led by embattled mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, had not informed the party that the deal with the federal government would be inked today.

“We are unaware that is going to be done today,” the Pandan MP said when contacted shortly after news reports of the signing hit headlines on several online news portals.

“The party needs more details before it can comment any further, we will ask the PKR state executive councillors to explain to the party about this deal.

“I had to read it from the news, just like you, to find out about the matter,” Rafizi added.

The agreement between Selangor and Putrajaya signed earlier today could lead to the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment facility, which has been long-opposed by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the political rivals was signed by Khalid and Energy, Water and Green Technology Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili at a hastily-convened event in Putrajaya.

Water supply in Selangor has been a contentious issue since the state fell to PR in Election 2008, with the residents experiencing repeated supply outages that the state administration alleged were due to sabotage by the rival Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Under the MoU signed today, Selangor will take over the operations of four water concessionaires — Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) — and will place these under the state-owned Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Sdn Bhd.

The acquisition of the water supply infrastructure will also be at RM9.65 billion that was the last offered by Selangor, which Putrajaya today agreed to provide under the MoU.

In exchange, Selangor agreed to approve the development order for the Langat 2 water treatment plant effective today and ensure all necessary approvals would be given within 30 days from today.

Under the agreement, the federal government will set up a committee to oversee the implementation of the water treatment plant, with seats allocated for representatives from the Selangor state government.

The signing ceremony today was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.