PETALING JAYA: Kajang by-election contender Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim got ‘checkmated’ by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on the water deal.
Zaid said it was too late for Anwar, who is said to have set his eyes on the MB post should he win the by-election, to influence the deal that has just been struck between the state government and the Federal Government.
“It is too late. It is a checkmate for Anwar,” he told the press at his residence here, Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Federal Government and Selangor finally found common ground on terms that would facilitate the implementation of the Langat 2 water treatment plant project and the takeover of water assets in the state.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and Khalid signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that effectively broke a five-year impasse over the implementation of water projects in the country’s most industrialised state.
In the deal, the federal government agreed to the state’s acquisition of four water concessionaires, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd (Abbas) and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) for a RM9.65bil compensation.
In an immediate response, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli had said that the party was in the dark over the agreement and said they would ask the state executive councillors to explain the matter.
However, Zaid on Thursday said that Anwar likely knew the agreement would be signed between the two parties.
“I am sure Anwar knows…if the federal has agreed with Khalid, in the event a new mentri besar takes over Khalid’s position, he cannot do anything. All he’d do is to ruin the deal.
“I think what Khalid did was right and I agree with him. At least, the future of the Selangor people would be secure and the privatisation of the water will end,” he said.