SHAH ALAM, 11 March 2009: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today said the state government would use proceeds from the sale of its water assets, estimated at RM9 billion, to Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd to finance the purchase of the assets and concession rights of the four water concessionaires in Selangor.
“The assets and concession rights of the four concessionaires – Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) and Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd – were worth between RM5.5 billion and RM6 billion,” Khalid said.
He was replying to a question from Yap Ee Wah (BN-Sungai Pelek) during the question and answer session in the state legislative assembly here today.
Yap wanted to know the source for the large sum of money needed to buy the assets and concession rights.
Khalid also said the state government planned to pay shareholders of the concessionaires 12% of the value of their investment per year so that they did not suffer losses after the takeover.
However, he said that some shareholders wanted 78% and this was considered too high as the people may then have to pay a higher water tariff.
On when the purchases would be completed, Khalid said they would be completed by 31 March but there was talk that the federal government wanted to give water management rights to one of the concessionaires.
He said if the state government took over the management of water, it could reduce the price of water as it would only take a small portion of the profit and return the rest to the people in terms of lower water charges.
After the assembly sitting, Khalid received a memorandum from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), unions and resident associations to support the state government’s efforts in taking over water management.
He said if the state government took over, water tariffs could be lowered by 24% and the first 20 cubic metres of water could be given free. — Bernama