Resolve water woes in Kedah first before thinking of selling commodity to Penang, Mahdzir tells Sanusi

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor should focus on resolving treated water supply woes in Kedah first before even thinking of selling the commodity to Penang.

(NST) – Kedah Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said such an idea was unrealistic given that Kedah currently has zero water reserve margin.

“In order to sell treated water to Penang, Kedah needs to have a reserve margin.

“For example, if you have a barrel of treated water and your consumption is 99 per cent, how are you supposed to do that (sell treated water to Penang)?

“Currently, the capacity of treated water produced by all Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) in Kedah is just enough for its domestic consumption, not to mention the high NWR (non-revenue water).

Mahdzir also ticked off Sanusi, who is also Perikatan Nasional (PN) election director, for throwing the idea just to fish for support in the upcoming Sungai Bakap by-election.

“Sanusi is not doing anything to resolve this issue. All I can see is that he has been going around cycling and just depending on the federal government for help.

“Don’t politicise the issue just because there is a by-election around the corner,” he said.

Yesterday, Sanusi said Kedah was willing to sell treated water from Lubuk Buntar WTP in Kulim to resolve a water supply issue in Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan.

Berita Harian reported Sanusi as saying that Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is welcome to negotiate with him to buy excess treated water from the Lubuk Buntar WTP for its neighbouring state.

Lubuk Buntar WTP is located in Bandar Baharu, some 16km away from the Kedah-Penang border.

Sanusi said this in his speech at the launching of PN election machinery for Sungai Bakap by-election yesterday evening.

Commenting further, Mahdzir urged Sanusi to provide an update on the status of five WTP upgrading projects in Kedah which are funded by the federal government.

He also urged Sanusi to explain the state government’s contingency plan to resolve water disruption in Kedah tourism jewel, Langkawi, that has been dragging on for years.

In January, Deputy Energy Transition and Public Utilities Minister Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir was reported as saying that Kedah has zero water reserve margin.

In March, state Public Works, Water Supply and Water Resources, Irrigation and Drainage and Energy Committee chairman Mohamad Yusoff Zakaria said the Kedah government has set a minimum of 15 per cent treated water reserve target by 2030 following the completion of several key water supply projects.

He was reported as saying that the completion of five WTP upgrading projects by 2026 would significantly tackle the state’s ongoing water woes.

He also said the Kedah’s NRW rate is also high at 50.7 percent, leading to a decrease in water margin and treated water reserve.