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Thousands in Malaysia face water shortage.
Malaysia’s Selangor has growing concern over water shortages.
KUALA LUMPUR: According to new reports from Malaysia’s Selangor state, thousands of residents are facing new rounds of water shortages after the main river in the area dropped below manageable levels.
Some 30,000 people or more, mainly farmers in Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam districts could be affected dramatically by a drought that has hit the area over the past month.
The state’s main rice growing area saw water drop to below critical levels.
The main river has dropped to nearly one meter below its normal level, the New Straits Times reported.
It comes as the Selangor government is facing a new lawsuit over its free water scheme, making it the third such action against the local government.
This latest lawsuit is from 1,313 consumers in the state, who are seeking RM748,410 in damages after they said they did not receive any water subsidy as promised by political leaders during the last general election.
The group’s lawyer, Kamarudin Ahmad, told reporters that the suit was filed by residents from Kinrara, Puchong, Bandar Mahkota Cheras and Section 18 Shah Alam.
They named the Selangor government, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd as the first, second and third defendants respectively.
The plaintiffs sought for a declaration to include all consumers in the state under the Free Water Scheme as promised by the Selangor government, regardless of whether they used bulk or individual meters.
It is the latest in a long string of controversies facing the Selangor state over water supplies.
The government announced it was putting plans in action to erect a new water treatment plant in Selangor in an effort to curtail any future water shortages, which have already seen hit the area.
Although both parties had been meeting regularly to discuss the important matter, no progress had been made because of the stance taken by the Selangor state government, activists told Bikyamasr.com.
But the federal government has moved to tender for the project construction of the water treatment plant has been called and will close on September 20.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who chairs a Special Cabinet Committee on the Selangor water issue, said on Saturday that the federal government “would go ahead with the Langat 2 [water treatment] project for the sake of the people.”
Following his announcement, the Selangor state government stated that it would instruct Majlis Perbadaran Kajang (MPKj) to take action against the federal government’s decision to go ahead with water treatment plant project, highlighting the growing tension.
July saw the emergence of political groups into the fray over water shortages in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) lashed out at the Selangor state government for not being transparent in its action plan to solve the water crisis in the state.
Selangor BN coordinator Mohd Zin Mohamed told reporters that the Selangor government was still “flip flopping and deliberately prolonging the issue by using Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) as a target” to “confuse the people” on the water issue.
“We are still waiting until today for the state government’s plan to tackle the water crisis in Selangor. In fact, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had openly admitted there was no specific plan to solve the issue,” he told reporters after handing over food for breaking fast to the public at the Shah Alam Commuter.
In late July, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that water rationing was not needed at the present moment in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
His statement comes after more reports of water shortages in the central part of the country, which residents say is affecting their ability to provide adequate Ramadan meals for their families.
Yassin said there were only several areas in the city and Selangor where there have been complaints of supply disruptions.
For these areas, which included Pandan Indah in Kuala Lumpur and Kapar in Klang, Syabas has been ordered to send water supply, Muhyiddin said in a statement late last month.
“In the current situation, rationing is not yet needed,” he said at a press conference after chairing the first meeting of the special Cabinet committee on Selangor’s water problems.
According to Green Technology, Energy and Water Minister Peter Chin, the government will look to address new projects to help boost access to water in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
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