Friday, March 06, 2009

Selangor Water is about control and politics

Backing for takeover of water services.

THE Selangor state government has received the backing of trade unions and consumers in its plan to take over the water services industry in the state.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and the Coalition Against Water Privatisation presented a joint memorandum to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to voice their dissatisfaction over the Federal Government's move to acquire water assets in the state yesterday.

MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud said at parliament lobby yesterday he was heartened by the assurances given by the state government that water tariffs would remain at an affordable rate even after the restructuring of the water services.

Under the initial restructuring plan, the state government, via state-controlled Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB), would take over the water concessions and assets, to be handed over to Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd, a wholly-owned company under the Ministry of Finance.

The assets would then be leased back to KDEB as the sole licensed operator. This is because after the restructuring exercise, there would no longer be concessionaires.
Instead, licence will be issued to the operator which would be reviewed by the Federal Government every few years.

[Backing for takeover of water services

New Straits Times ]