PETALING JAYA: Despite Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) jointly forming the Perak government, the state will not budge on its decision to not supply raw water to Penang, says menteri besar Saarani Mohamad.
Saarani said the decision to reject Penang’s proposed Sungai Perak raw water transfer scheme was not due to politics, but because the river only had enough raw water supply for Perak’s domestic consumption.
According to Harian Metro, he maintained that Perak’s decision not to go through with the proposed scheme was final.
“It’s not a matter of whether it’s a BN or PH government, it involves ensuring sufficient water supply in Perak. Whatever administration (is governing the state), Sungai Perak’s capacity is enough for domestic consumption only.
“All the more when we plan to develop Perak into an industrial state, which would require a lot of water,” he said.
He was responding to Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, who reportedly said that the joint formation of the Perak government between PH and BN was a “golden opportunity” for Penang to realise its Sungai Perak water scheme.
In March, Saarani had apologised to the people of Penang after his administration decided against selling water to the northern state, maintaining that it was needed to secure Perak’s water supply.
Penang had proposed the raw water pipe from Sungai Perak back in 2009, but Putrajaya did not move forward with the plan. Major water infrastructure is typically under federal purview.