Azmin urged to ‘splash’ an offer to complete water exercise

A-      A+

KUALA LUMPUR — Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was urged to name a price for the takeover of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) to complete the water restructuring exercise that started four years ago.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday the federal government can only intervene to give financial assistance once an agreement is met between the state government and Splash.

“Bandar Tun Razak was involved in the water restructuring process from the beginning until the three water concessionaires were taken over. I wonder why the current menteri besar is afraid to follow the steps of Bandar Tun Razak to name the price,” he said, referring to Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who was Selangor menteri besar from 2008 to 2014.

“The current menteri besar does not have a backbone to boldly name a price. Do it now, and then we can sit down and see how the federal government can help. Otherwise, you will continue making the people suffer,” said Ongkili.

Earlier, Khalid had proposed that Putrajaya execute a clause under the Water Services Industry Act (Act 655) to help solve the restructuring deal.

Ongkili said the government could use Act 655 to intervene and declare water emergency, but added he hoped Selangor would find a solution to carry out the planned restructuring exercise based on the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle.

“If the situation continues, we will see the legal options we have, including under Act 655.”

The three Selangor water concessionaires – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd and Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd – were taken over in September 2014 under Khalid’s administration, whereby Air Selangor took over the operations and maintenance of the treatment plants as well as supply services.

Under the current restructuring exercise, Splash is the sole remaining concessionaire that has yet to be consolidated into the state water industry.