No water tariff hike in Selangor, KL, PJ

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government guaranteed that the water tariffs in the state, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya will not be raised at this juncture but will be dependent on the capability of the administration in the future. Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said this is because they have to consider all matters and related aspects first in view of the rising cost to produce clean water.

“At the moment there is no (water tariff ) hike and we will continue the free water programme that cost RM180 million a year although it did increase many times since its inception (in June 2008) at about RM70 million a year.

“Nevertheless, we are acting according to the state’s current capability and at the moment, we are still able to (bear the costs) even though we created many other programs to benefit the people,” he told the press after officiating a state-level livestock handing over ceremony in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha yesterday.

He said this to counter the statement of former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yesterday, claiming that water users in these three states will be subject to high water tariffs following the acquisition of Syarikat Pengeluar Ai r Selangor (SPLASH) by state-owned water company Pengurusan Air Selangor (Air Selangor) for RM2.55 billion, last Friday.

Amirudin explained that Splash’s purchase value was also relevant because it was based on the expected appropriate price by the international independent appraisal body appointed by the state government.

“This (water tariffs) matter has been answered repeatedly by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (during his time as menteri besar) in the state assembly sittings and you need to understand its chronology from the beginning. We buy and take over based on ‘willing seller and willing buyer’ concept,” he said.

Meanwhi le, when asked about Malaysia Today’s blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin claim, saying that Parti Keadilan Rakyat received RM500 million ‘buyout’ from the acquisition, Amirudin said “allegations without proof are irresponsible allegations”.

He stressed that the state government has had negotiations and meetings for a year with Air Selangor to get the value for the purchase. Last Friday, the acquisition of SPLASH at RM2.55 billion would settle the outstanding debt incurred by Air Selangor subsidiary, SYABAS, to SPLASH for the purchase of treated water which has reached RM4.7 billion as at 30 June 2018.

Air Selangor will pay in instalments for a period of nine years in order to take over the company, SPLASH. Earlier during the event, the state government in collaboration with its subsidiar ies sponsored 1,200 cattle to be distributed to the mosques, Friday prayers mosque, government depar tment s and non-governmental organisations in the state this year to perform the sacrificial ritual.- Bernama