By Yasmin Ramlan
SHAH ALAM, Nov 21 — Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari is confident state water operator Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) will be able to generate its own profit by 2029.
Amirudin said he expects Air Selangor to yield an annual profit of approximately RM200 million by then, subsequently enabling the state government to expand its Skim Air Darul Ehsan (Sade) free water initiative to more people in the future.
“By then, I think it’s relevant and sustainable for us to expand the programme like we did in the past,” he said, noting that the restructured initiative today meant only targeted groups benefit from Sade.
He said this in his winding-up speech for the 2024 State Budget at the State Legislative Assembly today, in response to various queries raised by assemblymen pertaining to Air Selangor during their debates.
Under Sade, households with income of RM5,000 or less can register to be qualified for free water of up to 20 cubic meters per month, and is expected to cost the state government over RM30 million a year.
More than 300,000 people in Selangor are currently enjoying the free water scheme, which is open for registration until the end of next year.
To a previous question raised by opposition leader Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali regarding Air Selangor’s current financial position, Amirudin pointed out that RAM Rating Services Bhd had recently issued a AAA financial rating for the country’s largest water operator.
This, he said, allows Air Selangor more room to enhance its maintenance and upgrading works, including the replacement of 300km of pipes statewide next year.
“In fact, Air Selangor will also allocate at least RM658 million as capital expenditure in 2024 and it has been approved by the National Water Services Commission,” he said.
“In addition, Air Selangor will allocate RM3.5 billion for the development of the Sungai Rasau Water Treatment Plant.”