Public urged to take legal action over water cut


YUK Suh Pong, 52, thought death was at the door as he was unable to undergo his scheduled dialysis at a charitable centre during the recent water cut which impacted 1.2 million Klang Valley households.

“I was in pain and I was almost certain that I was going to die. This water cut is not something that people like me can take lightly.

“We can die due to our condition if we miss our dialysis cycle, ” said Yuk who has been undergoing dialysis for the past five years.

Understanding the predicament of thousands like Yuk and small business traders, Wangsa Maju assemblyman Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew formed a legal team to sue the relevant agencies in charge of protecting clean water source.

She invited the public outraged by the recent water cut caused by the Sungai Gong pollution to file their case with several legal firms she had engaged for a fee of only RM20.

“Usually, the public will shy away from taking up cases against the authorities because it is expensive to engage in lawsuits besides being time consuming.

“It is high time the public demand the authorities entrusted to protect the people’s rights to clean and uninterrupted supply of water to discharge their duties properly, ” she said.

Dr Tan said it was always those living in flats with no lifts or faulty lifts as well as patients, the elderly, and single parents who suffered immensely.

She said the legal team consisted of law firms, law professors and lawyers who would build a strong case with help from the public.

The team hopes to file a suit within two months and is urging the public to come forward with their cases.

Dr Tan highlighted the various important roles played by different agencies which her team plans to sue.She said the Department of Environment had the power under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to prohibit, prevent and control pollution of rivers and other inland water.

The National Water Service Commission (SPAN) is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of water supply services laws, ensuring the productivity of water supply industry and the monitoring and regulating of operators’ compliance with the stipulated standards, under the Water Services Industry Act 2006.

Meanwhile the Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (Luas) is responsible for managing water sources under the Lembaga Urus Air Selangor Enactment 1999.

Among its responsibilities are to control water source usage to avoid any disruption to the natural flow of water in any water source, grant licences to undertake any activity related to water sources and to regulate the licensees and their activities, as well as protect the interest of consumers of water in relation to quality and the prices to be charged for water supply.

Meanwhile Air Selangor is the sole licence holder of water supply services in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

“This legal team will fight to claim for losses suffered by the public and business. If 1% of the 1.2 million households come forward, we will have a strong case.

“Money is not the main issue here but we want the agencies with power and responsibility to ensure no disruption of clean water supply to the public, ” said Dr Tan at a press conference held at her office.

She said there had been about seven water cuts in the past 14 months and this had resulted in agony and losses among the public.

“Often, when a water cut takes place, the authorities will charge the company or individuals at the court and the issue will die.

However, there are key government agencies and companies vested with the power to protect these resources.

“Have these government departments and agencies exercised the powers in which they were established under the various Acts and have they discharged their duties diligently as the Acts intended them to be?

“Malaysians are kind and gentle people but we must have the courage to challenge the agencies if needed, ” added Dr Tan.

Those interested to file a joint case against the parties responsible can do so at: Messrs Calvin Khoo in Plaza Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya; Messrs Fithril Halim & Co, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara; Messrs Wun, Lee & Partners at MH Avenue, off Jalan Genting Klang, Setapak; Saha & Associates at Wisma Bandar, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman; and Prekeas & Partners at Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

For details, contact Wangsa Maju MP’s office at 03-4144 4342 or email to wangsamaju.aduan@gmail.com

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