SHAH ALAM, 18 JAN: Accusations of Selangor BN Coordinator, Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed that the Selangor Government is playing politics on the issue of water is akin to gambling with the fate and interests of more than 5 million consumers in Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, said the Selangor Chief Minister’s Political Secretary, Faekah Husin.
Faekah explained that the State Government’s efforts in taking over the water services with the sole intention of wanting to protect the welfare of the consumers who have not gotten protection because the previous government was only concerned with itself and its cronies.
Until now, the people are forced to use the services of concessionaires who totally have no expertise in the water industry, causing the people to obtain unsatisfactory services such as water supply disruptions as well as an unreasonable tariff rate.
“Unfortunately, after four years of negotiating, the efforts of this acquisition still failed because the Federal Government does not support this efforts because they are more concerned about the concession company than the welfare of the people.
“Not only that, these concessionaires has tremendous support from Umno leaders who are also hurling baseless allegations regarding the water issue and are smashing the efforts of Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in taking over the water services,” she said in a media statement.
Faekah also questioned who exactly is playing politics in this issue.
“If the Federal Government really disagrees to the water services being taken over by the state government, why did they approve the Water Services Industry Act 2006 which allows state governments to take over water services from concessionaires? How come water restructuring can be implemented in Terengganu, Perak and Malacca but not Selangor?” she asked.
Faekah is also certain that should the State Government be given the opportunity to manage water themselves, it will prove that the BN privatisation policy given to cronies have failed.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Umno leaders are fighting tooth and nail to defend this concession and will do anything to thwart efforts by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat in this water issue.
This is because BN believes that if the Selangor government is allowed to take over the water services, their chance to win in Selangor again will continue to be obscure.
“We have actually received intelligence that Umno will use the water issue to provoke the people.
“However the Chief Minister has directed all local authorities to be on the alert in facing any eventuality,” he said.
Thus, when the five pumps in Wangsa Maju suddenly broke down simultaneously, all local authorities in Selangor immediately moved to assist the affected areas, including the Federal Territory. Efficiency and mutual cooperation of all parties reduced the impact of the sabotage launched by BN.
Faekah also criticised the attitude of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who repeatedly pleaded to be given the opportunity to re-administer Selangor, which can be seen as desperate.
“Najib’s promise to solve the water issue should BN manage to recapture Selangor strengthens evidence that BN is making the people in Selangor and Klang Valley political hostages. The promises in the form of threats brings out the worst in Umno leaders, even more so when it comes from the top leader.
“Md Zin should be ashamed for accusing today’s government in politicising the water issue when the Umno supreme leader, who so clearly has lost credibility, merely wants to take back Selangor,” she stressed.
She added that it is hard to believe that he can produce a superficial argument stating that the State Government supposedly has complete control over the Selangor Water Supply Company (Syabas – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd) because Syabas is a subsidiary of the State Government. If Syabas is a subsidiary of the Selangor government, we will not have to face such problems.
The fact is that the State Government only has 30 percent of shares in Syabas while the largest shareholder is Puncak Niaga and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated is the golden shareholder.
The Golden Share in this concession company is what gives the Federal Government the power to make a decision as set out in the WSIA. Unfortunately, the Federal Government would rather play politics and prioritise cronies’ interests compared to the public at large.
“If Mohd Zin wants to be a champion in this water issue, he should conduct studies and deeper research so that he would at least have some credibility when making allegations against Pakatan Rakyat,” she said.