Minister says waiting for Selangor’s letter to revoke water deal (10.3.15)

Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili checks the water level at the Sungai Selangor dam April 14, 2014. — File picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri - See more at:

Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili checks the water level at the Sungai Selangor dam April 14, 2014. — File picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri – See more at:

Putrajaya said it is still waiting to receive an official letter from Selangor on the state’s decision to revoke the controversial water agreement signed last September.

Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia reported that Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said he cannot comment further on the matter until the letter is received.

“We will wait for the official letter from the Selangor government and its explanation regarding their reluctance to extend the deadline to finalise the restructuring of the water supply,” he said in a text message to the paper.

Yesterday, Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali said the state has revoked its controversial water agreement with Putrajaya, following the federal government’s alleged failure to comply with the pre-conditions set out by Selangor.

He said two extensions were given previously to the federal government to honour the agreement, one on January 9, and another on February 9.

The first-term mentri besar had previously demanded Putrajaya publicly disclose the details of the water agreement as part of his pledge for accountability to Selangor voters.

Last year, Ongkili said that his ministry would not disclose the contents of the water deal, following legal advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Under the water agreement, Selangor was meant to infuse a new special purpose vehicle with RM14.92 billion in assets to manage the water restructuring exercise with Putrajaya.

The federal government was also to provide RM2 billion to help offset the state’s cost of taking over the four concessionaires — Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd.

In return, Selangor would provide all necessary approvals for the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant that it had previously resisted.

Meanwhile, the Water Association of Selangor, KL and Putrajaya (SWAN) president Aldric Loong told Malay language daily, Berita Harian that revoking the deal could be the wrong move.

“Both parties have already agreed to the deal, why is it called off all of a sudden? It is not just SWAN that is worried. I’m sure many others are also wondering what had happened.

“With the unpredictable weather these days, don’t take the wrong step and we will end up with a water crisis like last year.

“Don’t revoke this over something personal, think of the people,” he said.

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