Friday 20 July 2012

Water minister rapped for 'lack of backbone'

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin has been condemned for his "lack of political backbone" to approve the state's earlier proposals to restructure its water industry.

"Since 2008, the Selangor state government has patiently and consistently put forward multiple proposals to the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water to restructure the water industry in Selangor holistically.

NONE"It is the lack of political backbone of the minister, Peter Chin, to give the green light to our proposals that is the impediment," Selangor exco member Elizabeth Wong said in a statement yesterday.

The Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson also said the federal government's failure to consult the state government regarding its newly formed cabinet committee on Selangor water issues reflected its ‘highly partisan and biased' attitude.

The federal government, Wong said, should realise that there would be no meaningful result without such engagement with the Selangor government.

"This is yet another example of the obstructionist behaviour of the federal government, which places politics and profits for its cronies above the people of Selangor," she said.

Lopsided concession agreements

The formation of the five-member panel on the Selangor water situation was announced by Chin yesterday and it will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

NONEChin said the cabinet wanted to study the state's water issues, in particular water concessionaire Syabas' proposal to ration water and Selangor's bid to take over the company.

Wong, who is in charge of tourism, consumer affairs and environment in Selangor, also said it should be borne in mind that the state government was elected to represent its people.

Therefore, it would not stand by idly while Syabas ‘causes panic' by mooting a water rationing exercise or continues to operate on the ‘lopsided concession agreements'.

"Our intentions and conscience are clear, that is to safeguard the interest and rights of the people of Selangor. To this end, the (state government's) takeover of Syabas will proceed with full speed as announced," she said.

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