JOHOR BARU: The takeover of water facilities and operations from peninsula states by the Federal Government is straight forward and should be completed by the end of the year.
Deputy Works Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the main task was to amend the state and federal constitutions which he expects will be smooth.
The only obstacle would be dealing with states that had privatised their water supplies, he said.
Even this should not delay the process because we will discuss with the companies (that supply water) to find the best solution, he said here yesterday. Johor, Penang and Kelantan have had their water supplies privatised.
According to sources, one of the options was for the Federal Government to take over the stake held by state governments in the private companies.
The agreement to allow the Federal Government to be responsible for water supply in states was reached at the National Water Council meeting on Tuesday.
In Sungai Siput yesterday, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said state governments would still have a say in the administration of their water facilities and operations after the takeover.
We need water catchment areas, and we need the co-operation of the state governments since land is under the purview of the state, he said.