SHAH ALAM, March 26 – A meeting is to be held Thursday between the Selangor and federal governments on the period of the takeover of assets and operations of four water concessionaire companies in the state, said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. He said the meeting with Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili was associated with Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) 2006 in restructuring the state’s water industry.
Abdul Khalid said the federal government felt that the takeover of the assets and operations of the companies – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd (Abbas) and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) – should be done over a period of six to several years.
“The state government feels that the takeover of the assets and the operations of the four companies should be done at the same time. “The state government feels that this has to be done immediately to reduce uncertainty and confusion in terms of restructuring in a more holistic manner,” he said. Abdul Khalid and Ongkili had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the restructure of the Selangor water industry on Feb 26. The matter had dragged on from 2008.
The MoU provides for the Selangor government to approve the construction of the Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant and its distribution system effective Feb 26 and to ensure that all approvals related to the project are completed within 30 days of the signing of the MoU. Additionally, the federal government is prepared to inject funds to help the state government take over the water concessionaire companies in the state through a government-owned company.
On the ongoing water rationing in Selangor due to the drought, Abdul Khalid said it would continue until early April as the Meteorological Department had forecast rainfall then. “We will not change our decision to continue rationing until there is rain and the water in the dams exceed 65 to 70 per cent,” he said.