PETALING JAYA: Selangor Gerakan is demanding the PKR leadership, come clean as to whether they had a hand in the proposed takeover of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) by the state government.
In a statement, Selangor Gerakan chairman David Ang Chin Tat pointed out that Splash chairman Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah admitted that Anwar Ibrahim had at one point brought him to meet the then menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim to seek an explanation over the state government’s offer of RM250.6 million to take over the concessionaire.
The former opposition leader was then Selangor’s economic adviser, while Wan Azmi was one of three main shareholders, with a 30% stake in Splash, through his company, The Sweet Water Alliance Sdn Bhd. The other two main shareholders are Gamuda Bhd (40%) and Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (30%).
Ang also noted that Rafizi Ramli, who was then the PKR strategic director, had in a blog post revealed that PKR leaders had repeatedly questioned Khalid for refusing to meet Splash, a factor which was later used to remove the latter from the MB post.
Based on these two points, Ang said the party had “valid reason” to believe that PKR had intervened in the negotiations on the takeover of Splash by the Selangor government.
Ang added that Selangor state exco Zaidy Abdul Talib had recently revealed that the Selangor government had approved a RM2.7 billion payout for the equity takeover of Splash as well as to assume an additional RM1.584 billion of debt.
“Paying 11 times more using Selangor funds to private parties gives rise to other concerns on the deal.
“We believe that there is cause to suspect possible conflict of interest when politicians are involved in negotiations between the state government and private companies.
“Therefore, we are lodging reports with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police to investigate if there was some form of abuse of power or wrongdoing,” Ang said, adding that Selangor Gerakan was also concerned about the possible burden of increased monthly water tariff for residents in the Klang Valley due to this deal.
Splash is the only private water concessionaire in Selangor.
Last year, the state government took over both Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) in a move to de-privatise water concessionaires in Selangor.
The inability to determine Splash’s value is proving to be an obstacle in the take over, although the federal government and Selangor state government are likely to agree to a fair value for Splash and the outcome could be known as early as next month.