12MP review: Sabah welcomes funds to tackle water woes

KOTA KINABALU: The additional allocation under the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review for Sabah to address water woes has been anticipated for a long time, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.

Sabah believes that the immediate allocation of RM800mil to address water supply disruption in Sabah as well as Kelantan was based on discussions with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim earlier this year.

"I believe it is part of our request from our discussions in early June," Shahelmey said when contacted on Monday (Sept 11).

Anwar had announced the funds in Parliament earlier when tabling the mid-term review.

Sabah had high expectations for RM320mil in federal assistance to tackle its water problems.

The delay in channelling the assistance became a hot political issue amid unending water woes ranging from low pressure to dry taps over the last 18 months in several parts of the state including Kota Kinabalu.

Shahelmey said that the state needed the funds to implement projects that would address the problem of non-revenue water (NRW) as well as improve the distribution network.

Immediate steps taken to tackle low pressure, especially in the state capital, have seen some improvement in the situation over the past month.

These steps include curbing water theft, fixing leaking pipes and stepping up treated water output to meet demand in Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Putatan, Papar, Beaufort, Keningau, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Sandakan.

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