SELANGOR, March 31 – The Selangor government called off its water industry restructuring deal because Putrajaya had wanted not only the water assets but also the land on which the assets are located, said Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali. Azmin said based on the deal, the listed assets to be transferred to Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) were confined to only water assets that had been upgraded and improved by the concessionnaire.
“Because of that, the land with the water assets is not part of the concessionnaire’s list of assets that are to be transferred as stated in the agreement. “If we agree with the stand by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, then it means all transfer of assets by the concessionnaire to PAAB must be together with the transfer of the land with the water asset. “Then, the state government will no longer be the owner of the land. It violates the main agreement,” Azmin said at the Selangor legislative assembly sitting today in answer to a question by Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim.
He said that the ministry had set a third condition, which involved handing over everything, which would go against the main agreement. “Why take all of it? After six months, the ministry not only wanted the improved assets but all it wanted the concessionnaire to hand over everything. “That includes the pipes. We have 26,000km long pipes in Selangor. According to our information, only 2,000km of it had been repaired. “Are we going to hand over 26,000km of pipes and the land where they are located to the federal government?” he asked.
The Selangor water industry restructuring deal was inked between the Pakatan Rakyat state government and the federal government in September last year. Azmin said the concessionnaire had only upgraded the water assets on government land. “So, when the company upgraded (the water assets) and got a loan, it is the loan that we are handing over to PAAB. The state will mortgage the asset,” he said. He said that Putrajaya’s refusal to accept the transfer with only the restored and upgraded water assets and setting conditions to get the land transferred to PAAB as well, showed that the federal government wanted the rights to the entire water treatment plant and the land, even though only part of it had been restored.