Friday, 5 July 2013

Selangor softens stance on Langat 2

The state government has softened its stance on the Langat 2 water treatment plant, with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim saying he is willing to discuss the project with the Federal Government.

Previously, the Selangor Govern­ment had objected to it, claiming that it was too expensive and the cost of construction would be borne by the people through higher water tariffs.

Khalid said the state government was prepared to accept the project if its economic value was appropriate.

“If we have already terbuat (accidentally constructed) Langat 2, we can sit down and discuss how to provide water to the people of Selangor at a reasonable rate,” he said in response to a question from state Opposition leader Datuk Sham­suddin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong).

Shamsuddin had asked Khalid whether the state was prepared to allocate funds to reduce non-revenue water as it would be costly to replace and repair water pipes.

While Khalid did not give a straight answer, he said the state government was ready to have a “professional discussion” with the Federal Government to ensure that Selangor residents would get treated water supply at the best price.

The RM3bil Langat 2 water treatment plant is a federal project but it needs to be approved by the state government under the Land Code.

The plant will receive raw water from Pahang via an underground tunnel, which is almost completed.

After he was sworn in as Mentri Besar for a second term in May, Khalid said the Langat 2 project must be discussed as part of the water services industry restructuring exercise and not as a stand-alone matter.

Last week, Khalid said he was optimistic that the restructuring exercise could be completed by September as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had expressed his readiness to complete the matter in line with the Water Services Industry Act.

The state government had made three bids to take over water management from all four water concessionaire companies in Selangor.

On Feb 20, the state government made a RM9.65bil offer to take over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding.

In 2009, the state government made a bid of RM5.7bil but it was rejected by all the players. A subsequent offer of RM9.2bil was made in 2011 but it was rejected by Puncak Niaga and Syabas.

The Federal Government holds one golden share in Syabas through the Minister of Finance Inc.


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