KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government has considered using provisions under the Water Services Industry Act (Act 655) to take over the water concession operation in Selangor if the water crisis in the state persists.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said, however, he hoped the Selangor government could immediately resolve the matter by stating the appropriate value to take over Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH).
“You name the price and the government is willing to help you. Otherwise, you are making the people suffer. All the obstacles and rationing that are happening come from the shoulders of the Selangor government, which has led to this matter being prolonged.”
He said Act 655 could be applied in the interests of national security if the situation continued.
“The federal government will study the existing legislation, including the use of Act 655, but I want to avoid it,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Independent-Bandar Tun Razak) on the proposal to use Act 655, which gives the federal government jurisdiction to solve the matter and re-empower the state government.
To a question from Budiman Mohd Zohdi (BN-Sungai Besar) on the status of Selangor’s water restructuring exercise, he said the delay in takeover was due to the failure of the Selangor government to offer SPLASH the takeover rate.
Because of this, Ongkili said, the parties involved in the water restructuring agreement in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya had to extend the takeover period three times.
“The first time was for six months until April 6, 2017; the second time for six months until Oct 5, 2017; and the third time for nine months until July 4, 2018,” he added. – Bernama