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Water issue: Khalid to meet ministry (Updated)

Updated 7:46pm, 20 April 2009

SHAH ALAM, 20 April 2009: Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the Selangor government hopes to discuss the restructuring of the water industry with the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry this week.

“The state government has written a letter to the federal government on our offer to the concession companies and on the listing of water assets,” he said after presenting a RM2mil aid to 25 Chinese primary schools here today.

Khalid however declined to give details on what would be discussed but said cheaper water would be better for consumers.

He had proposed that former energy, water and communications minister Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik be involved in the discussions as he was among those responsible for the Water Services Industry Act 2006.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said discussions with the Selangor government on the water issue would be speeded up to reduce the burden on consumers.

Khalid also said the state government has set up an economic advisory panel comprising professionals to give views and monitor the RM50bil economic stimulus package.

“Since the stimulus package is a combination of short, medium and long term plans, the appointed panel members will be effective for two years.”

He added the panel members would help the state government to handle strategic issues on the establishment and objective of the stimulus package.

Meanwhile, on the impending by-election in Penanti, Khalid said that contesting in a by-election is a practice in democracy and should not be considered a waste of public funds.

“This is what we do in democracy. The wastage mentioned by The Star (in its report) was money not spent for the election per se as more than 80% was  for security,” he told explained.

Khalid, who is also Selangor Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairperson, said this when asked to comment on the possibility of Barisan Nasional not contesting the Penanti state by-election, which seat fell vacant following the resignation of its incumbent, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin on 16 April.

“It will be good for PKR if BN does not contest in the Penanti by-election,” he added. — Bernama



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