Ensure water supply ‘all the time’ if you want to maintain tariffs, says minister

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar launches a tree planting programme at Bandar Botanic in Klang, Selangor, today.

KLANG: States that refuse to increase their water tariffs must come up with a mechanism to ensure they are able to supply water to consumers “all the time”, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said.

“They must show they won’t experience water woes, be it in Negeri Sembilan or any other state,” he told reporters here today.

He was commenting on Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Aminuddin Harun’s statement that there will be no increase in water tariffs in the state this year.

Aminuddin said this was in line with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election promise that the rate will remain for the next five years.

Xavier, however, said none of the other states had agreed not to increase their water tariffs.

“Those who have agreed to do so, we will bring to the Cabinet for approval. For states which are not prepared, we will continue holding discussions with them,” he said.

Xavier had previously said all states had in principle agreed to increase their water tariffs in line with the government’s efforts to restructure the water supply service industry.

Today, he again stressed that he intended to increase water tariffs nationwide this year.

He also said that failure to address the water issue could see the nation plunge into a water crisis in 2025.

He said Putrajaya was aware of those states where the situation was critical.

“We will try to resolve this by carrying out initiatives in the forthcoming 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said.

On another matter, Xavier said his ministry would plant some 100 million trees throughout Peninsular Malaysia by 2025 to increase the greenery.

He also hoped urban areas would allocate sites for “mini forests”.