Sabah, Kelantan to work with govt to solve states' water woes

PUTRAJAYA: Sabah and Kelantan have agreed to work with the Federal Government to address the water woes in both states, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said federal authorities would not stop at anything to resolve the problem, but these issues must be resolved and managed in a transparent manner as well as for water authorities' management boards to be efficient.

"The states and the authorities concerned must be able to work together with the federal government," he said when met after handing over keys to house buyers of a civil servants housing programme at Precinct 18 on Thursday (June 1).

Earlier, Anwar held a meeting with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob over the issue.

He said a special task force had been told to look into the states' proposals for the federal government to consider and approve.

"There are a few pressing issues such as lack of clean water supply and we will provide some funds for that to be resolved immediately," he said.

The Prime Minister said Kelantan had presented "some figures" needed to resolve its water woes.

"I have not made any decision on this and have asked the task force to look into Kelantan's request and conditions that need to be in place such as management and transparency in project implementation," he explained.

As for Sabah, Anwar said the state had raised its need for a soft loan to proceed with the construction of a dam.

"We will look at it as a fast-track project. The progress in the works (involving water supply) in Sabah is more acceptable.

"The problem in Kelantan, on the other hand, is more serious because the financial requirements are huge," he added.

He said Kelantan's initial request for its water supply project is RM8bil but the federal government believes the figure could be brought down substantially.

During a recent trip to Kelantan, the Prime Minister said that the water supply problem in the state needed to be resolved regardless of political affiliation and that the government had agreed to take immediate measures.

Anwar also said that he had presented this to the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V.

When visiting Sabah on Wednesday, he said the government was determined to resolve the state's infrastructure problems, including those concerning water supply.

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