Businesses hit by water dispute | Selangor Times
Issue 118


Businesses hit by water dispute
Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 10 Aug 2012

SHAH ALAM: Manufacturers and developers whose water applications have been rejected by water distributor Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) aired their grouses in a public forum on Tuesday.

David Loh, from rubber glove manufacturer Top Glove, said the company’s plan to construct a corporate tower in Setia Alam as its new headquarters has been delayed due to the denial of water connection.

“Our water application has been rejected five, six times…What does the state plan to do (to solve our water woes)?” he asked during the event at the Shah Alam Convention Centre.

A representative from beverage manufacturer F&N also complained that it suffered significant losses when its RM300 million new plant in Pulau Indah had no water supply for five days.

As a result, the carbonated drink producer decided to continue using its older factory in Petaling Jaya until it is sure that Syabas can provide stable water supply in Pulau Indah.

Developers also came forward and said that they felt “jittery” over proceeding with construction projects without the certainty of water supply.

“Once we commit to deliver but there is no water when a project is completed, we will be in deep trouble,” said a developer who identified himself as Ismail.

About 150 people attended the briefing on the water and Talam debt recovery issues.

The businesses want Putrajaya and Selangor to set aside their political differences and come together to solve the water dispute in order to ensure stable supply for the commercial sector.

Over 234 projects have been stalled since January this year due to the denial of water connection by Syabas, the State Economic Planning Unit deputy director Nor Azmie Diron reported during the briefing.

However, Selangor has informed local councils that they can override Syabas and approve water applications as long as the local governments are certain there is sufficient water supply.

“The Kuala Langat District Council’s OSC (one-stop centre) has overruled Syabas in a project,” Nor Azmie told 150 investors and members of the public who attended the forum.

He said there is no shortage of raw or treated water in Selangor as the state’s 34 treatment plants are capable of producing around 4,809 million liters of water per day (MLD).

But the state’s sole water distributor Syabas is only capable of distributing 4,411 MLD to consumers and out of that, approximately 1,389 MLD is lost to theft and pipe leakages.

Only 2,944 MLD reaches the consumers at the end, said Nor Azmie.

Executive councillor Teresa Kok, who moderated the forum, said Selangor is determined to restructure the state’s fragmented and poorly-managed water services industry in order to improve its operations.

However, Selangor’s latest request to step in and take over Syabas’s management has been turned down by Putrajaya.

Previously, the state had also twice written to Putrjaya, in 2008 and 2011, to seek to terminate what it claims is a lopsided concession agreement with Syabas but received no response.


 Selangor Times



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