Thursday, 26 July 2012

Selangor accuses Syabas of 'under-performing'

The Selangor water monitoring committee has detected that concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) has “under-performed” in supplying water.

At a press conference today, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim kept up the pressure on the company, pointing out that output at water treatment plants has exceeded Syabas’ ability to distribute it.

“This proves that Syabas has failed to fulfill its responsibility to supply sufficient treated water to users as agreed in the Water Privatisation Agreement 2004,” he said.
The committee led by state secretary Khurshin Munawi had tabled its findings at a state exco meeting today.

NONEKhalid (left) said its major findings showed that the total output of Selangor’s 34 water treatment plants is 4,807 million litres a day, compared with Syabas’ distribution capacity of 4,371 million litres per day, which leaves a shortfall of 436 million litres a day.

“This means that Syabas is operating below its full capacity, which is where treated water can be produced, but its distribution can be improved by 436 million litres per day” he said.

In addition, the shortfall in distribution capacity would become worse once treated water production increases to 5,139 million litres per day when Mitigation Project I is completed in March next year, although he later said the project would also entail an increase in distribution capacity.

The project involves the upgrading of three existing water treatment plants and the construction of a new one in Labu.

Khalid also said that the state’s water reserves is actually at 11 percent, not 2 percent as reported by Syabas. This is expected to increase to 18 percent next year.

azlan“These failures strengthen the state government’s resolve to ‘step in’ on Syabas’ management to fix all its weaknesses, including to recommend that the chairperson and chief executive officer of Syabas be sacked,” he said at the press conference held immediately after the state exco meeting.

Asked to elaborate on the sacking of the duo, he said he was merely making a recommendation. The state government does not control the company, but it was the duty of the board of directors to take heed because the state government “is not getting value for money”.

“In spite of Syabas’ publicity with regard to the water crisis in Selangor, the Syabas chairperson and CEO didn’t attend a single meeting with the state.

“What does it mean? Syabas paid over RM400,000 a month to a person to take care of Syabas and the result? They do not have time for this meeting,” he said.

Pertinent documents prepared

He also told reporters that the pertinent documents have already been prepared, as well as the team to represent the state government within Syabas.

When asked about the composition and the makeup of the team, Khalid said their names would be announced soon, but most of them are officials from state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB).

As for the federal government-backed Sungai Langat II Water Treatment Plant, he announced that all state agencies are to refer any applications related to the project directly to him.

Khalid has also announced that a toll-free hotline has been set up at 1-800-88-2824 to handle water-related complaints. The hotline was initially set up to handle complaints related to garbage disposal. 

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