JULY 20 — The dams are overflowing with water, but there is no water in the tap. What is going on here?
After the war of statements over the past few days, we have finally
got a clearer picture. Even if water dams are full, it does not
guarantee sufficient water supply as water kept in dams is raw water
which must be treated to become drinking water.
No matter how much raw water we have, we will still face water shortage if we are not able to filter and purify water rapidly.
The water supply operation in Selangor is complicated. Syabas is
responsible only for water distribution while concessionaire companies
Permodalan Negri Selangor Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai
Selangor Holdings (SPLASH) and Konsortium ABASS are responsible for
There are 33 water treatment plants in Selangor producing 4.3 billion
litres of water per day. Since there are already so many water
treatment plants, why is Syabas still demanding for the Langat 2 water
It might be due to the lack of connection among the existing water
treatment plants. They might be able to produce more water, but they are
unable to transfer treated water to other areas facing a water
shortage. Since some water treatment plants are low in production, why
don’t they try to upgrade them?
Perhaps they might not try to shrink the responsibility, in which the
state government blames Syabas, and Syabas blames the filtration
companies, if only one company is responsible for both filtration and
It reminds me of years ago when different companies were providing
the LRT services and it resulted in various complaints from the public.
There are too many companies involved in the Selangor water supply chain
and, thus, it is not easy to regulate.
Concessionaire filtration companies make money while water
distributor Syabas is suffering losses. However, its CEO earns a monthly
salary of RM425,000 and its high-ranked officers also earn RM5.1
million a year.
Syabas has the ability to pay high salaries, but cannot afford to
replace old water pipes, causing more than 30 per cent of wastage.
The problems exposed weaknesses in management and execution. If these
weaknesses are not overcome, it would not help even if raw water is
transferred from Pahang and more water treatment plants are constructed.
A special Cabinet committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin has now been set up to discuss the Selangor water
crisis. If the committee does not get see full participation, how it is
going to strengthen the water services management?
The Selangor state government should be invited to join the committee
to lift the people’s suffering as soon as possible. If water continues
to be politicised, the problem will worsen.
If efficiency can be enhanced after the Selangor state government
takes over Syabas, they should then prioritise the people’s interests.
The water crisis has once again showed us that poor management and
execution is the greatest threat to the country. Many good plans will
become nothing if we are not able to manage them well.
The movement to save the bird’s nest industry has gone bad and the
whole industry is now facing a collapse. The regional education hub
project has also been taken advantage by criminals and the country now
has many fake students. There are too many cases of similar omissions.
Malaysia has an abundance of rain, but is now facing a water
shortage. Who should be responsible? Politicisation has indeed blurred
the focus. — mysinchew.com
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