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‘Cabinet committee on water redundant’

 | July 20, 2012

DAP's Santiago says the newly formed committee has little to offer by way of new ideas and solutions.

PETALING JAYA: Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) coordinator Charles Santiago brushed off the new cabinet committee on water as it had nothing new to offer.

“The cabinet committee on water has nothing new to offer. What are they going to do which they have not already done?” asked Santiago.

“They have been around the past three years. What new decisions can they make?” said the DAP Klang MP, of the two committees on water that has been reporting to the cabinet since 2009.

Green Technology, Energy and Water Minister, Peter Chin Fah Kui, yesterday said that a special cabinet committee has been formed to discuss the expected water crisis in Selangor.

The committee is to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and made up of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Noh Omar, Minister in PM’s Department and Pemandu chief Idris Jala, Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin and Chin.

In a related development, Santiago wants several vital information on water services from the federal and Selangor governments and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor, Syabas.

“Syabas, the water distributor in Selangor, has a monopoly on all these information and therein lay the problem,” said Santiago.

The information sought are the quantity of raw water from dams and pumping stations into the treatment plants, from Jan 1 to July 15 this year, meter readings of the outflow of treated water into treatment plants, meter readings of treated water into contributor distribution system by Syabas.

CAWP also wants to see records of certified log books and calibrated meters, electricity bills, Puncak Niaga’s payment to Syabas for water sold and the chemical usage from Jan 1 to July 15.

Santiago said that the parties have 12 days to provide the information.

A failure to provide the requested information would result in CAWP taking legal action, said Santiago, addding that petitioning the king over the issue would be the last resort.

“If Syabas does not provide the information, they are deliberately creating a crisis. I dare them to make the information public.

The information would then be scrutinised by an independent panel of experts from the International Water Association, national water company of Netherlands and local experts.

Santiago doubted the accuracy of the information currently available from Syabas.

He also questioned if the current push for the Langat 2 Dam was meant to generate more revenue for Syabas.

“Are the companies manufacturing a crisis for projects? Did the federal government promise operations and management of Langat 2 to Syabas?”asked Santiago.


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