Malaysia-Residents demand probe on water crisis

Posted in: Drinking Water News, Misc Water Issues, Water Crisis
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Article courtesy of Zulaikha Zulkifli | January 10, 2013 | Malaysiakini News | Shared as educational material only

Residents of Ampang and Cheras have gathered outside the Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) office in Shah Alam, demanding a detailed investigation to rule out sabotage as the cause of the two-week long water disruption in their areas.

Hak Air Untuk Rakyat (Hayat) chairperson Arshad Ahamad said the probe should be conducted by the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as well as the National Water Services Commission (Span).

“Failure after failure on the part of Syabas’ system, in the span of just a few days, has raised many question marks.

“As such, we want a detailed investigation to determine if the incidences were the acts of sabotage carried out by those who wished to tarnish Selangor’s name,” he said, when reading out a memorandum in front of Wisma Rozali.

The hour-long noon gathering was attended by some 44 residents from Ampang, Kampung Pandan and Cheras, who were heard yelling “Hidup rakyat, hancur Syabas (Long live the rakyat, destroy Syabas) while some carried banners saying: “To fix the burst booster pump in Wangsa Maju takes more than 14 days. Syabas cannot be counted on” and “Syabas has crashed, always looking for projects, the rakyat suffers.”

The memorandum was later handed over to the executive director of the water concessionaire, Ismail Hashim, who promised to bring the matter up with the company management.

Arshad later told reporters that they were considering taking legal action against Syabas should it fail to resolve the water crisis.

MB: Seems like a hidden agenda

Over half a million residents in several areas throughout the Klang Valley have been left in the lurch after water supply was disrupted on Dec 29, which Syabas attributed to faulty water pumps at the Wangsa Maju and Pudu Hulu Baru pump houses.

It further blamed the Selangor government for the latter’s delay in building an additional pumping system in Wangsa Maju, as Syabas said this led to the pump breaking down as it was overloaded.

Its chief executive officer Ruslan Hassan had said the proposal to build the additional system was made in 2009 and 2012 to the federal government, which approved the project plan and loan.

However, the state government is still discussing the project design.

This was denied by Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who yesterday said his administration wants to terminate the water supply concession with Syabas, “to prevent more serious disruptions and ensure the interest of consumers.”

Abdul Khalid also questioned conflicting statements by Syabas over the duration for the problem to be fixed, claiming it appears as though there was a “hidden agenda to sow panic and anger amongst water users in the Klang Valley against the state government, which has been slandered as the cause of the problem.”

While at first assuring the crisis will be resolved within a week, Syabas later announced the water supply disruption could go on till the Chinese New Year.

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