Selangor confirms awarding Splash operating licence, says part of water deal


(Malay Mail Online) – The Selangor government confirmed today it had awarded Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) an operating licence, but said the move was done as part of the master agreement on the state’s water restructuring plans signed with Putrajaya.

In dismissing claims of alleged impropriety, Selangor mentri besar Azmin Ali said it would be wrong for the state government to cancel the licence as Splash had been given a year to extract untreated water in accordance with the master agreement.

He, however, did not explain if the cancellation of the master agreement would nullify the deal with Splash.

“The licences given to Splash and Puncak Niaga are extradition licenses, licenses to extract untreated water and this has been long. If not how would they be able to operate.

“And Splash had been given one year (to extract untreated water) after the master agreement was signed so how can the state government cancel it. The principle of justice must be upheld,” he told reporters here.

Last week, former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim accused his successor Azmin of granting water concessionaire Splash an operating licence amid an ongoing tussle between the state government and Putrajaya over the controversial water restructuring agreement.

Citing reliable sources to back his claim, Khalid said the Selangor government’s latest move as well as its refusal to come to an agreement with the federal government with regards to the terms and conditions of the water deal might result in the cost of the takeover of the four state water concessionaires to be more than RM9.65 billion.

Khalid had been responsible for inking the state’s water restructuring deal with Putrajaya on September 12 last year when he was still mentri besar, in which Selangor in its buyout would assume Splash’s water-related liabilities amounting close to RM1.6 billion, apart from the equity compensation in cash consideration worth RM250.6 million.

Of the four concessionaires, only Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd had agreed in principle to Selangor’s combined offer of RM7.817 billion.

The federal government had also agreed to provide RM2 billion to help offset the state’s cost of taking over the four concessionaires: Syabas, Puncak Niaga, Konsortium Abbas and Splash.

Khalid revealed that he had met with Energy, Water and Green Technology Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili over Azmin’s decision to cancel the water deal.

He added that Ongkili had pledged to find a solution to carry out the Selangor’s planned water restructuring exercise, through the use of the Water Services Industry Act 2006.

Azmin has said that Selangor is willing to resume talks about its water restructuring plans with Putrajaya if the latter agrees to the terms set in the original buyout plan.