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Water NGO to take Syabas to court

 | August 9, 2012

The Coalition Against Water Privatisation made the decision after Syabas refused to reveal any details on the purported 'water crisis' in Selangor citing confidentiality.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) would go to court to compel water distributor, Syabas, to reveal information on the purported “water crisis” in Selangor.

CAWP coordinator Charles Santiago said this today after failing to receive any information after an hour-long meeting with Syabas’ executive director for planning division, Sanusi Sulieman.

Also present with Santiago were Senator Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud and Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) vice-president Mohd Roszeli Majid.

On July 26, the same delegation handed a memorandum demanding the information and was promised that they would get the information they required at the meeting today.

However, Santiago said that Sanusi refused to divulge any information on the “water crisis”, citing confidentiality.

“He kept saying that they needed permission from both state and federal governments,” he said.

The Klang MP said that apart from Syabas, he would also file cases against Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor (SPLASH), Puncak Niaga, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd, and the Selangor and the Federal governments.

Santiago said that it was important for the water companies to reveal information on how much raw water is moving in and out of the Selangor’s 34 treatment plants.

“With that information, we will know whether we have a water crisis in Selangor or not. Without that data, we can assume that there is no crisis,” he said.

Syed Shahir concurred with Santiago’s assessment, saying the Selangor government would not have a water crisis if Syabas could reduce its non-revenue water (NRW) rate.

“Currently, the state’s NRW stands at 32% which is very high. Reduce that and we may not have a crisis,” he said.

On the Cabinet committee’s decision on not interfering in the state government’s effort to acquire water assets from Syabas, Santiago said the committee should have urged Syabas to accept the monetary offer made by the state government to acquire the company’s water assets.

“The state has already offered RM9 billion to Syabas to acquire its water assets but the latter is demanding RM12 billion, which is too high,” he said.

Yesterday, the Cabinet committee chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the federal government will not interfere in the state process to acquire Syabas’ assets as long as it adheres to the Water Services Industry Act 2006.

“The committee has no plan to interfere with the state government’s efforts to take over equity in the concession companies since it is a commercial transaction between the two parties that should be implemented on a willing buyer-willing seller basis ” the committee told Bernama.

Also read:

Syabas told to hand over water information


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