SHAH ALAM, 29 April 2009: The federal government has agreed to work with the Selangor government to find the best solution for the restructuring of the state’s water services industry.
A press statement from the Selangor menteri besar’s office said a joint taskforce would be set up to find an amicable solution to all pending issues including the Selangor government’s plan to take over four water concessionaires.
“Both sides share great concern for the consumers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur and we are therefore committed to come up with a solution that would give the consumer the best value for money,” Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said in the statement today.
He said Selangor state secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud would head the taskforce for the state government.
Khalid said the commitment to work together was made in his first official meeting with newly-appointed Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin in Putrajaya on 27 April.
Khalid described the meeting as “fruitful and productive”.
The state’s attempt to restructure the water services industry faced obstacles in February after the National Water Services Commissionallowed direct negotiations between the Finance Ministry’s Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd and four water concessionaires, hence sidelining the state.
The state had earlier stated its intention to directly take over the four water concessionaires – Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd, Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Selangor Holdings Berhad and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor.
On 23 Feb, the Selangor Water Review Panel had urged the federal government to respect the state government’s right and allow it to proceed in its negotiations with the concessionaires in the interest of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur consumers.