KLANG, 19 FEB: Selangor State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Teng Chang Khim explained that the State Government is more interested in safeguarding the people of Selangor’s welfare compared to profiting the Selangor Water Supply Company (Syabas – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor).
He said that the additional RM2 billion requested by Syabas would better serve the benefit of the people of Selangor for period of 10 years.
“Every year in the past five years, Selangor’s expenses for welfare programmes, including free water among others, amounts to approximately RM700 million.
“This does not include Selangorku grants where profits are derived from subsidiary companies of the State Government which come up to RM300 million for other additional programmes. The total is only RM1 billion,” he explained.
He said that the reason of bearing losses, being one of the main reasons Syabas rejected the RM9 billion offer by the State Government to takeover the water management, is unacceptable.
Previously the State Government failed to reach a consensus for the said purpose following Syabas action to set a RM11 billion price tag which is considered unrealistic by the State Government.
Teng said that it is clear that the statement by Syabas is questionable following the company’s action to spend lavishly in its management, including the involvement of the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Rozali Ismail.
“Rozali said that he is thinking about Syabas’ outstanding bank debts but we know from looking at the company’s accounts as well as accounts of other concessionaires that in previous years Syabas have been reaping high profits.
“He (Rozali) can give out dividends and bonuses (to employees) and to renovate his office, costing hundreds and thousands but why couldn’t he settle debts to the bank.
“Why did he not pay the bank with profits and grants received. Instead we have to bear (the losses) by giving (Syabas) a 12 percent profit. We feel that it is unfair to the people of Selangor,” he said in a Water For The People forum at the Pandamaran Sports Complex here yesterday.
Teng, who is also the Sungai Pinang Assemblyman, added that in reality, there is no water crisis as portrayed because there is adequate water supply in all (treatment) plants in Selangor.
Prior to this, the Selangor State Government offered to takeover the water industry management in Selangor from Syabas at a 12 percent annual profit rate.
The forum was officiated by the Education, Higher Education and Human Capital Development Exco, Dr Halimah Ali and was attended by state executive councilor Ronnie Liu.