Estate workers to get direct water supply


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Jun 2003

BY R.S.N. MURALI

JEMPOL: The Cabinet has decided to supply water directly from Public Works Department (PWD) sources to estates throughout the country within the next few years. 

This was to enhance estate folks' standard of living, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. 

“The issue of water supply to estates has been discussed extensively by the Cabinet for quite sometime now. Currently, the PWD is gauging the situation to expedite the project,” he said in Jeram Padang estate near here yesterday after Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn presented him with a copy of an agreement which stated estate workers would be guaranteed minimum monthly wage. 

At present, Samy Vellu said, the water supply to estate homes came from reservoirs operated by the management. 

“The quality of water supplied by estate reservoirs may be low while the monthly bills calculated by the managementcould be subjected to exorbitant charges,” he said. 

Samy Vellu said all estate homes would have separate meters once the supply was tapped from the local water authorities’ reservoirs. 

He said the Government would carry out a study to determine whether the water bills of the estate workers should be subsidised to ease their financial burden. 

SYMBOLIC GIFT:Dr Fong receiving a 'tapping knife'from Malaysian Agricultural ProducersAssociation director Mohamad Audong while Samy Vellu looks on in Jempol yesterday.

Asked when the estates could obtain their water supply from reservoirs managed by local water authorities, Samy Vellu said this would depend on the estate management. 

“We want the management to fund the laying of the pipes to their respective estates. If they agree, then the project would be carried out,” he said. 

Earlier in his speech, Samy Vellu expressed gratitude on behalf of 48,000 estate workers to Dr Fong for obtaining the basic monthly salary guarantee. 

“During my tenure in the Government, I witnessed many of Dr Fong’s predecessors who attempted to solve the monthly salary problem but none had been successful,” he added. 

Under the agreement, some 58,000 labourers would be paid RM350 if their earnings for the month fell below that figure.  

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