THE pollution of two main rivers in Selangor due to industrial activities and ammonia contamination has raised concerns of a looming water crisis in the state.
Utusan Malaysia, in its editorial, believed the authorities still had time to act before a crisis erupted.
It warned of a recurrence of a crisis that hit the state last year, when taps produced foul-smelling water.
It said the previous crisis should serve as a lesson to the authorities, who should explain the present condition of the rivers.
Consumers were interested to know what actions would be taken by the authorities to avoid a recurrence, the paper said.
It added, however, that while consumers needed to be told what was happening, the major problem of implementation also had to be resolved.
“It would certainly involve a lot of costs and coordination of various government agencies,” said the editorial.
“We believe the way to achieve results is through political will and proper monitoring by all parties.
“Above everything else, there must be a sense of responsibility and commitment to give the public clean water.”
The paper said preventing a crisis from occurring should be a social obligation (fardhu kifayah) as advocated by Islam.
On another matter, the daily front-paged a report that the pilgrims fund board, Tabung Haji, would be issuing a higher bonus of 4.75% for 2006 for its 5.2 million depositors.
The bonus, which involves payments of RM634mil, is the highest in six years. It will be credited to the depositors' accounts on Feb 20.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Md Zin was quoted as saying that Tabung Haji targeted to pay a higher bonus at 5% next year in view of the better economic growth in the country.
> Berita Harian commented on the formula to resolve the issue of dual citizenship between Malaysia and Thailand, which had previously caused relations between the two countries to be strained.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Thai counterpart, Surayud Chulanont, had agreed on a formula which allows Malaysian citizens who wish to stay in Thailand to be given a permanent resident (PR) status in that country and for Malaysia to reciprocate by granting PR status to Thai citizens who want to stay in Malaysia.
In its editorial, the paper, however, wanted the Government to make a careful assessment of the foreigners before granting them PR status.