KOTA KINABALU: Sabotage is suspected to be behind recent incidents of burst water pipes in the city, which occurred shortly after the Sabah Water Department announced the contract termination of six private maintenance companies last month, said police.
Kota Kinabalu City police chief Asst Comm Habibi Majinji said they were looking for two suspects who were seen near an area in Luyang, where a water pipe had burst.
Witnesses saw two men in a white 4WD in the area and one of them was carrying tools.
The state Water Department decided to lodge a police report on possible sabotage earlier this month after several incidents of burst pipes around the state capital late last month that left residential areas with dry taps.
Sabah Water Department director Amarjit Singh said the incidents were unusual, which prompted the department to lodge a report.
The state-owned utility company had terminated the contracts of the six contractors involved in maintaining 58 water treatment plants statewide.
Amarjit said 1,335 workers in the companies affected by the move would be re-employed by the state water department with different terms of employment.
On Jan 16, viral messages had spread claiming that the water at two water treatment plants in Sandakan and Kudat was untreated as staff did not turn up for work two days before the end of the contract on Jan 15.
This prompted state Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony to allay fears on water quality from the two treatment plants at Segaliud river in Sandakan and Milau river in Kudat.
He said Water Department staff were operating the plants and any claim that the supply of chlorine for water treatment in the Segaliud and Milau plants was inadequate was not true.
Anthony assured the public that the acquisition of the 58 water treatment plants from six companies did not affect its overall operations and that water from all the plants in the state was safe for consumption.