Syabas refutes Khalid’s claims
KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) today denied claims by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim that the water distribution company had failed to discharge its duties as provided for in its concession.
“This is a baseless accusation and not true at all,” said Syabas Technical Services Executive Director, V. Subramaniam, at a special media session here today.
Khalid announced yesterday that the Selangor government had decided to take over the management of Syabas to overcome the water crisis in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which he claimed was “suspicious” in its management.
Subramaniam said the water crisis at present is the result of a shortfall in treated water for distribution caused by the refusal of the state government to issue the development order for the construction of the Langat 2 treatment plant.
“It is also the result of the state government’s failure to gazette the tariff adjustments as stipulated in the concession agreement,” he added.
Subramaniam also criticised the statement by Khalid as being inaccurate and confusing, when he said the raw water currently available in the dams was sufficient, to the point of overflowing.
“Actually, the issue of a water shortage, refers to the treated water needed to meet the needs of consumers,” he added.
He said that the state government under Khalid had directed that the capital expenditure of Syabas be frozen and this had also hampered efforts to reduce the rate of non-revenue water loss.
Subaramaniam also clarified that this matter had been made known through the nine meetings of the Syabas Board of Directors over the past two years.
The Selangor state government has a 30 per cent interest in Syabas.
“Each time the Board met, the state government was informed of the situation through its representative on the critical water shortage. But no action has been taken by the state government to date,” he said.
He said at the same time, the state government’s failure to gazette the tariff adjustments had caused Syabas outstanding arrears to operators of the treatment plants. — Bernama