PULAU INDAH: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has hit back at two DAP leaders who took the state government to task over recent water supply disruptions in several districts.
Referring to statements by Petaling Jaya Utara MP and state DAP chairman Tony Pua and former executive councillor Ronnie Liu, who had both blamed the state government and him for the issue, Khalid said the duo needed to be taught about the water industry in the state.
Reiterating that it was unfair to blame the state, Khalid said he was dumbfounded that Pua and Liu, being senior party leaders, failed to understand the water restructuring exercise.
"I am shocked that Liu, despite being an exco (member) for one term, does not know of the water restructuring exercise and the work the state has been doing to ensure continuous supply water for the people.
"Anyway, I am sure Upen (the state economic planning unit) and Luas (Selangor Water Management Authority) will be glad to teach Tony Pua and Ronnie Liu on what the state has done and why Syabas is to be blamed," he said after handing out donations at Masjid Sultan Abdul Aziz here in conjunction with the Ramadan month.
When asked to comment on Pua's questioning of the state government's "guarantee" on assuring continuous water supply for the next five months, Khalid said it was still a promise but admitted that it would be a hard one to keep if Syabas did not cooperate with other water players.
"Our calculations show there is enough water in our dams and rivers but the treatment plants belong to Syabas and if they refuse to work, it is very hard to get the job done.
"Therefore, it is unfair to simply condemn the state government.
"If the state takes over their (Syabas) water assets and six months down the road, you see another round of water rationing, then by all means blame the state and myself," Khalid said.
Pua, in a statement earlier Saturday, said the fact that water disruptions occurred after the state had guaranteed there would not be any rationing exposed a lack of seriousness in tackling the issue.
"Hence, when water shortages occur within days after the guarantee issued, does that not make the Pakatan Rakyat government and its elected representatives look like complete fools?" he said.
Khalid had assured the public that the state would not repeat the water rationing exercise despite a possible dry spell in the next few months due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.
On Friday, Liu also accused Khalid of being negligent and questioned the haste in agreeing to the Langat 2 project.
Liu, who was state chairman in-charge of local government from 2008-2013, said the Mentri Besar had enough time and resources to prevent water rationing exercises like the previous one.
On Thursday, Syabas issued a statement, saying that due to a lowered output from the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 treatment plant, more than 700,000 households in Petaling, Gombak, Klang/Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur were to be affected.
Following improvements in the level of Sungai Selangor, which supplies raw water to the SSP3 plant, Syabas, on Friday, said the affected areas have begun to see supply recovery in stages.
Syabas corporate communications and public affairs general manager Priscilla Alfred could not be reached for comments.