SHAH ALAM: The money saved from reducing the number of households receiving free water can be channelled into repairing pipes and improving facilities at water treatment plants.
Lee Kee Hiong (PH-Kuala Kubu Baru) said this during the debate session at the Selangor state assembly meeting on Monday (July 29).
"Free water (of 20 cubic metres, worth RM11) should only be offered to low income households, and the higher income groups do not need it.
"The amount saved can be used for repairing pipes and this would benefit more people in the long run, ” she suggested in support of the government’s plan to only offer free water to the B40 group.
It was reported that only low income households, known as the B40 group, will receive free water under Selangor's 2019 budget.
Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari was quoted as saying during the tabling of the state budget last year, "The amount allocated for the free water programme in 2019 is RM80mil and the adjustment enables the state government to save RM105.2mil.”
During the question-and-answer session in the morning at the state assembly, Lee asked about the state’s policies on reducing plastic usage in Selangor.
In reply, state Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the state has taken steps to ban polystyrene and (free) plastic bags starting Jan 1, 2017 and the implentation of the #BebasStrawPlastik (No Plastic Straw) campaign on July 1, 2019.
"These are in line with the Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Ministry’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-use Plastics 2018-2030.
"The state government is currently working with various parties in carrying out programmes and campaigns related to the No Plastic and No Plastic Straw policies including local authorities, the Selangor branch of the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP), NGOs, associations and schools, ” he said.
On the role of local authorities, Hee (PH-Kajang) said councils have issued notices to business owners in regards to the #BebasStrawPlastik campaign.
"This is also included in the criteria for the selection of Best Ramadan Vendor to encourage the reduction of plastic usage among hawkers.
"Councils also conduct checks on premises owners and issue notices to those who fail to comply with the policy on plastic ban.”