Water tariff talks with states ongoing, says Xavier


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 08 Feb 2020

In discussion: Xavier (centre) meeting with senior editors at Concorde Hotel to update the press on the work of his ministry. Among those present were Star Media Group editorial adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai (on Xavier’s left), Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang (on Xavier’s right) and Star Media Group chief content officer Esther Ng.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is still in ongoing discussions with states for a review of water tariffs in the country.

Its minister Datuk Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said discussions had been going on for the past 15 to 20 years but nothing was concluded.

“A review of water tariffs is not something new. It’s not that we as a government have come in and start to increase water tariffs.

“The discussions have been going on for the past 15 to 20 years, but nothing has been done, ” he said.

Xavier was the special guest of the Concorde Club, a monthly forum on current topics initiated by veteran journalists, to discuss the protection of Malaysia’s natural resources and wildlife.

Some states, he said, had problems in terms of industrial water supply.

Xavier, who regards water as a human rights issue, said participation by the private sector was needed for the development of the national water industry.

Hence, the amendment to the Water Services Industry Act would streamline the procedures and regulations in its implementation.

The proposed implementation of the mechanism involves an increase of 0.06 sen to 0.71 sen per 1,000 litres, which is quite low compared to other utilities such as electricity, gas and telecommunications.

The current average water tariff rate is RM1.38 per 1,000 litres compared to the actual cost of RM2.31 per 1,000 litres. — Bernama

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