Selangor Journal
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (centre) together with Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, (second, left), state executive councillor for infrastructure and public amenities Izham Hashim (left), Selangor Speaker Ng Suee Lim (second, right) and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) acting chief executive officer Abas Abdullah, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Rasau Water Supply Scheme at the Sungai Rasau water treatment plant site in Kampung Seri Cheeding, Banting, on May 30, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Free water scheme restructured to conserve funds for quality water for all

By Amar Shah Mohsen

SHAH ALAM, July 24 — The decision by the Selangor government to restructure its free water scheme to target only households earning below RM5,000 was meant to ensure sufficient funds for a reliable and effective water supply at all times.

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the state needed to ensure that all of its water treatment plants (LRA) are working perfectly through continuous maintenance, and that new ones needed to be built to meet demands.

As an example, Amirudin said the state administration had approved the development of the Sungai Rasau LRA, which is capable of treating 1.4 billion litres of water a day upon its completion in 2026.

“This will be the biggest, most modern and developed treatment plant in Southeast Asia,” he said in a video uploaded on Twitter last night.

This is in response to criticisms and allegations by political rivals revolving around the state’s decision to end the blanket free water scheme that has been enjoyed in Selangor since 2008, and rebrand it as the Darul Ehsan Water Scheme (SADE) beginning March 2020.

Under the new structure, free water would only be enjoyed by households earning less than RM4,000 a month, although the threshold was later increased to RM5,000.

On top of the need to maintain the LRAs, Amirudin said the state government would also continue with its pipe replacement works.

He said at present, about 3.8 million people in Selangor continue to enjoy free water, comprising over half of the state’s population.

Commenting further, the menteri besar said the decision to review the free water scheme was to ensure that only those who truly deserved it would be qualified.

“Compared to previously, certain groups were already financially stable with several units of houses and living lavishly but also enjoyed free water.

Separately, Amirudin rubbished allegations that his administration had ceased several welfare programmes, like the Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (KISS) and Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE).

Commenting on KISS, the Selangor Pakatan Harapan chairman said the state government has rebranded it to Bantuan Kehidupan Sejahtera Selangor (Bingkas), with the monthly financial aid also increased from RM200 to RM300.

In total, he said about 30,000 families have benefitted from this programme.

As for SMUE, Amirudin said the state felt that it was more appropriate to offer senior citizens a RM150 annual shopping voucher and a further RM500 in funeral expenses upon their death rather than a one-off RM2,500 assistance when they die.

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