KUCHING: The Utilities Ministry will look into amendments to the Water Supply Ordinance 1994 after the state election.
Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the amendments will allow the corporatisation of water supply bodies.
Having said that, he pointed out the tabling of the amendments was supposed to be done last year.
“The amendments will enable us to turn water providers into corporations. This is because water is not only for drinking; it can also be turned into a business product like hydrogen and so on.
“In order to move forward, we must make sure that we are able to prepare the platform for it to expand along that line. We may table the amendments this year after the election,” he said.
Dr Rundi said this will make way for a single entity to manage the water supply systems in Sarawak.
“Sarawak will be able to manage its supply system and it will be good for the state. The corporation can be privatised or government-run similar to what Sarawak Energy Berhad is doing,” he added.
On the World Water Day celebration which was yesterday (Mar 22), Dr Rundi stressed the importance of taking care of water sources and resources.
He pointed out that water catchment areas must be protected in order to sustain the sources.
“The World Water Day is part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). We have attended many seminars and discussed sustainment of water sources with experts.
“This is why we have gazetted 92 water catchment areas. For any planning which involves these areas, we have to make sure that development does not disturb these areas especially those involving native customary rights (NCR) land.
“I hope that the ministry and relevant agencies will look into the plans. This also includes adding more members into the water council,” he said.
With the theme of valuing water for this year’s celebration, there are five important perspectives that have been outlined, namely, valuing water resources (natural water resources and ecosystems), valuing water infrastructure (storage, treatment and supply) as well as valuing water services (drinking water, sanitation and health services).