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One extra month for Selangor to resolve water issue


Officially on duty: Dr Xavier clocking in on his first day at the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry. — Bernama

Officially on duty: Dr Xavier clocking in on his first day at the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry. — Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The much-delayed restructuring of Selangor’s water industry can be resolved within a month, says new Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

Dr Xavier, who clocked in at work for the first time yesterday, said the deadline for the restructuring exercise was supposed to be today, but the ministry has agreed to extend it by another month.

“The ministry has discussed with the Selangor government on this issue, including with Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.

“We are confident we can resolve this water issue in Selangor within a month, and this includes the takeover of Splash (Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd),” said Dr Xavier at a press conference.

When asked to explain the reason for the long delay, Dr Xavier said: “Let’s not look at the past. What is more important is we will be able to resolve this Selangor water issue soon.”

Dr Xavier added that resolving the long-standing Selangor water issue was also listed as one of Pakatan Harapan’s election pledges.

Following the new Cabinet announcement on Monday, Dr Xavier’s ministry has been renamed as the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry – replacing the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Dr Xavier explained that water services, which was previously managed by the former Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry is now placed under his ministry.

“Now, water resources and water services are placed under one roof, and this will make the management of water more efficient.

“Even rural water supply, which previously was managed by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, will be managed by my ministry,” he said.

Environment will now be managed by the Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry, with Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin as the newly appointed minister.

Currently, Dr Xavier has the secretaries-­general of both the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (Datuk Seri Azizan Ahmad) and the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang) working under him.

“We will only have one secretary-general in the future, but I will leave it to the KSN (Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa) to decide on this matter,” he said.

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