BY: MOHD EZLI MASHUT
It certainly is fortunate to live in Selangor. Well, why not, when citizens enjoy 20 cubic metres of water free since Pakatan Rakyat took over in 2008. And don’t be surprised, there are some who have never paid a single sen for water in the past eight years.
That is the advantage when a state is governed by leaders who care for their citizens and develop the economy for the benefit and well-being of everyone. All these are the result of citizens being smart in making changes for their own benefit.
While people in states under Barisan Nasional’s (BN) administration lament about increasing bills and prices, Selangor’s citizens continue to enjoy reasonable prices without burden.
Thus, attacks by Umno-BN controlled media playing-up due the critical water crisis in Selangor is simply political propaganda. They are merely taking advantage of the situation without offering any solutions.
When there is disruption in water supply in Selangor, there is a big commotion akin to not a single drop of water being available. But if it were to occur in BN states, they keep silent. Take for example Sabah, Sarawak and the rural areas in Peninsular Malaysia.
Reduce NRW, guarantee clean water
Projects to replace old pipes in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in the State Budget 2017, which were announced by Dato’ Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in October, enabled the State Government to target a reduction of Non Revenue Water (NRW) rate, from 35% to 29% in 2019.
To achieve that aim, the State Government has allocated RM324 million to address issues of burst pipes and pipe replacement programmes in 84 hotspots, covering 422.5 kilometres, for a period of 3 years beginning in 2016.
The State Government has also allocated RM100.6 million to Air Selangor for pipe replacement works. All these are to ensure continuous water supply to citizens.
Use reserve to build water treatment plants
The commitment of the Selangor Government to address the water issue is most evident as it is prepared to use half of the state’s reserve for development, including building the Semenyih 2 and Labohan Dagang Water Treatment Plants at a hefty cost of RM800 million.
This effort ensures long term sustainability of treated water supply in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Two water treatment plants are fully funded by the State Government to create a holistic and efficient water service ecosystem and complete the water distribution system as a whole.
Fight saboteurs of water resources
It is difficult to overcome problems of water disruption when there are saboteurs who contaminate rivers with industrial waste.
To overcome this issue, the community is urged to lodge reports directly with the authorities to bring these culprits to justice.
The State Government takes this matter seriously; especially when culprits intentionally dispose toxic materials into rivers, causing Air Selangor to shut down water treatment plants.
Therefore, the State Government will continue to work with the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry to address this problem, especially as these acts of river and water sabotage do not happen in rivers within Selangor, but originate beyond Selangor.
As such, industries are encouraged to invest in green technology including recycling technology which are aligned with international best practices.
Bucket gang in political deadlock
We can still recall the illegal demonstration held by the bucket gang, in front of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building recently, seemingly in the support of water issues.
However, this and probably any other future action of theirs, are merely gloss to garner cheap political support for their own benefit. We have yet to hear of them offering any concrete solution capable of addressing their said issues.
Therefore, the State Government would like to ‘return’ the buckets thrown by a group of Umno youths at the State Secretary’s office, to the representative of Pahang population as there is significant proof that Pahang is indeed experiencing a dire water crisis (as compared to Selangor’s water disruption due to maintenance works.)
Selangor has managed to resolve its water issue, and now the buckets are passed over to Pahang so that they can utilise it and know that Selangor is indeed not the only state in Malaysia facing water issues.
Water is the source of life and civilisation. The duty of preserving water resources is everyone’s responsibility. Let us bequeath sustainable and sufficient water resources to our future generations to prevent any water crisis.
We must have the awareness to conserve water by using it wisely. Are we willing, in future, to pay a high price for safe and clean water? We have the answer. Act quickly! Act now!
*Mohd Ezli Mashut is Associate Editor for SelangorKini
Lucky to be Selangorian: Oh Water!
BY: MOHD EZLI MASHUT