Media statement by Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP National Publicity Secretary on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 in Kuala Lumpur
The Selangor state government has shown it's goodwill and willingness to cooperate with the Federal Government to resolve the critical water crisis by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last week witnessed by the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak himself.
It has been reported that Selangor has even agreed to immediately approve the development order for the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant project while all other required approvals such as land rights, access permissions and other permits shall be granted within 30 days of signing the MOU. The due date will hence fall on 25 March 2014.
However the granting of all the other necessary approvals for Langat 2 will depend entirely on the Federal Government delivering its part of the bargain.
Most importantly, the existing water concessionaires, name, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS), Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd and Kumpulan ABASS must agree to sell their concessions back to Selangor based on the previous offer price of RM9.65 billion.
Based on the MOU agreement, the Selangor Government will make a renewed offer for the same amount – RM9.65 billion to these concessionaires, and they must respond by 10 March 2014, or in less than a week’s time. The Menteri Besar office has also confirmed that these letters have already been issued last week to the respective companies.
If the Federal Government fail to cajole these concessionaires into accepting the above offer, then it must exercise all its powers under the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA), particularly using Clause 114 to compulsorily acquire these water companies based on the compensation model detailed in the concession agreements.
Hence the deal is clear, the Selangor state government has demonstrated its goodwill by conceding the first step, even as many Pakatan Rakyat leaders object to the above due to a complete distrust of the Barisan Nasional Federal Government’s ability to keep its promises. However, the Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was willing to do so in order to end the impasse which has become a lose-lose situation for the rakyat. The ball is now on the Federal Government’s court to deliver their part of the bargain by 10 March.
If however, the Federal Government fails to fulfil their part of the bargain in a timely manner, they can be assured that the Selangor state government via its Executive Council and the Selangor state assembly, will exercise all its powers enshrined under the laws of Selangor and the Federal Constitution to deny any further licenses to be issued or awarded to the relevant Federal Government entities for the purposes of the Langat 2 project. Without these additional approvals, the Langat 2 project cannot proceed.
The Pakatan Rakyat administration and government will not be cheated by the Federal Government. We will not betray their trust of our Selangor voters and will fight tooth and nail with the BN Government to ensure that the interest of the Selangor residents are fully protected.