An advertisement that is allegedly an effort to portray water shortages in Selangor is being filmed in secrecy at an apartment block in Petaling Jaya today.

Although residents of the apartment blocks in Section 17 are aware that the filming is related to the topic of water shortage, none when met had a clear idea about the actual nature of the ad being filmed.

NONEWhen asked, several extras including residents involved in the shoot told Malaysiakini that all they know from the production company is that they will receive RM50 for their participation.

Apart from this, they have not received any other information regarding the ad.

When met at the filming today, the ad’s producers were tight-lipped about details of the television commercial, curtly replying that they had to uphold client confidentiality.

“It’s an ad about a water campaign. More than that I cannot reveal. I hope you will all respect my job,” said the ad’s producer Cheong Wai Leng when met at the site.

NONE“I cannot reveal (the details of the filming). Otherwise we will be sued by the client. We are only contractors and we have all kinds of clients.

“This is not the first time we have done filming for an advertisement,” he added.

Malaysiakini, who was there following a complaint from a resident on the filming, was also forbidden to enter the filming area or take photographs of the filming.

The production team also expressly forbade Malaysiakini to report on the matter, barring reporters from entering the site.

'No water shortage'
From Malaysiakini's observations since 7am this morning, roughly 200 residents have been recruited to appear as extras in the filming of the staged water shortage.

NONEOne of the scenes seen being shot was a large crowd queueing to receive water from a water supply lorry.

They were instructed to “shout” and hold up their pails during the scene.

The shoot today involved four containers of props and sets.

According to the resident who had initially contacted Malaysiakini, the apartments have never experienced water shortage.

Selangor's alleged water crisis has been a popular catchword in pre-election lobbying in the run up to the 13th general election, expected to be called any time soon.

NONEState water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has been repeatedly saying that Selangor is facing water shortage, and blaming it on the Pakatan-led state government's refusal to approve the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

However, it has been pointed out that cabinet ministers, in pushing for the plant that is to be only operational in 2014, have inadvertently contradicted Syabas on the matter.