Perak intends to sell its water to Selangor, Penang

IPOH: Perak has begun talks with Selangor and Penang on its move to sell water to the two neighbouring states, said Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

If it materialised, he said the state government would have to look for a suitable site to build a water plant to treat water to be sold to the two states.

Asked on the sale price of the water, Faizal said the Perak Water Board (LAP) and the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) were studying the matter.

Elaborating, Faizal said he had also informed the state government’s plan to Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A Xavier Jayakumar during a meeting at the Parliament House recently.

“He (Xavier) said that the ministry is ready to be the facilitator in the negotiations,” he said.

On another development, he said the state government remained committed to building an international airport in Perak in an effort to further develop the tourism industry in the state and create job opportunities for the local people.

“We will strive to build the airport within this term,” he said, adding that the new airport would likely be built in the area that had been proposed by the previous government, namely in Seri Iskandar.

The menteri besar also said that if the plan to build the new airport was realised, the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here could be used as a hub for private jets.

Faizal said he had also instructed Upen to be more aggressive in attracting high-technology companies to invest in the state.

“I dream of having our own high-tech industrial park and this can be realised as Perak has a suitable area for that purpose,” he added.

On the revamp exercise involving government-linked companies (GLCs) in the state, which was described by some quarters as an “in a hurry” decision, he said: “We are not seeking revenge but we have the responsibility to govern the state with full trust”.

After being sworn in as menteri besar on June 12, Faizal said he found that many of the agreements or contracts awarded to the GLCs were unprofitable and lopsided.

“I have called the leaders of the GLCs and given my views to them and told them that it was difficult for the state government to cooperate with them.

“I gave my views that it would be better for them to tender their resignations. My job is not to punish or send people to prison,” he said.

Faizal said among the GLCs involved were the Menteri Besar Corporation, the Perak State Economic Development Corporation, the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation and the Perak State Development Corporation.