PETALING JAYA: Insufficient allocation from the federal government is the main reason Kelantan has issues with clean water supply, says Amar Nik Abdullah.
The Kelantan deputy menteri besar said the biggest hurdle in resolving its water woes was down to finances not mismanagement.
He was responding to natural resources, environment and climate change minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who blamed the state’s inability to supply its people with clean water mainly on the mismanagement in Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB).
“No matter how efficient or smart a (company’s) management is, what can they do if they don’t have money?” Amar told FMT.
On Thursday, Nik Nazmi told reporters that while his ministry is ready to discuss the issue of allocations from Putrajaya, no amount of money would resolve Kelantan’s water problems unless AKSB settled its management and governance issues.
He said even his predecessor, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is PAS deputy president, admitted in a parliamentary written reply that the water woes in Kelantan “stems from poor governance and AKSB’s unsustainable financial position.”
Nik Nazmi said simply channeling money without reforming AKSB’s governance will not solve Kelantan’s water issues.
He added that while Putrajaya will commit to helping Kota Bharu, the state government must also work on solving AKSB’s governance issues.
Last May, Tuan Ibrahim said he hoped the construction of a RM1.3 billion water reservoir in Machang would resolve Kelantan’s water woes.
Tuan Ibrahim said there had also been a plan to replace water pipes. However, the cost was estimated to be RM3 billion per state, which he said the Kelantan government could not afford.
The Kubang Kerian MP said he hoped the problem could be resolved if the federal government allocated RM2 billion a year to the state’s water operator to replace equipment.