Sungai Selangor dam in Kuala Kubu Baru.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will sign a preliminary agreement with the Federal Government soon to seal the deal on the restructuring of the state’s water industry, said Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the weekly exco meeting here yesterday, Khalid revealed that the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry would represent the Federal Government in drafting the agreement with Selangor, which would be represented by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB).
According to Khalid, the agreement will spell out the specific details of the restructuring exercise jointly undertaken by Selangor and Putrajaya, including the expected revenue for the state after the exercise.
He also confirmed that the agreement would stipulate that there would not be any tariff increase for the next three years.
“The ministry and KDEB will work together to formulate the draft of the preliminary agreement, which will be signed as soon as possible,” Khalid said, though he stopped short of committing to an exact date for the signing.
On the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on water industry restructuring inked between Selangor and Putrajaya on Feb 26, Khalid said the contents of the MoU would be revealed in a week’s time after the “procedural matters” had been cleared.
Certain quarters, including leaders from Pakatan Rakyat, had criticised Khalid over the MoU, which they claimed lacked transparency and due consultation.
The MoU is believed to allow Selangor to take over the assets of the four existing water concessionaires in the state for a total amount said to be RM9.6bil, while also allowing the Federal Government to proceed with building the Langat 2 water treatment plant that would receive raw water from Pahang via a tunnel.
Meanwhile, Pakatan’s top leadership has remained unequivocal in wanting Khalid to defer the finalisation of the preliminary agreement until he provides a satisfactory briefing to them on the details.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioned the seemingly rushed manner in which the MoU was signed.
Meeting reporters after chairing the Pakatan leadership council meeting yesterday, Anwar said that while the Pakatan leadership did not wish to unduly interfere with Khalid’s administration as he had been given the mandate to negotiate the water deal, the Mentri Besar should nonetheless display a more humble approach to doing things.
“It is better we have some humility to be more transparent and to consult the leaders.
“We want him to be more cautious, and we have communicated our view that the briefing must be done before the agreement is signed, or else it will be meaningless,” said Anwar.