GEORGE TOWN: As Perak will be supplying treated water to Penang, there is no need to build a water treatment plant for the Sungai Perak water transfer scheme, says chief minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chow said there is a difference between taking raw water and treated water.
"Perak is proposing to supply treated water so we do not need a water treatment plant here,” he said when responding to Lim Guan Eng (PH - Air Putih).
Lim was debating the speech by the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak at the state legislative assembly meeting here on Tuesday (Nov 21).
He questioned why a water treatment plant was not built in Penang under the Sungai Perak water transfer scheme.
"Other states like Selangor have their own water treatment plant when drawing water from Pahang.
Even internationally, Singapore has its own water treatment plant when drawing water from Johor,” he said.
Lim said it is extraordinary for the water treatment plant to be located in Perak under the water transfer scheme.
He said consumers will be anxious over the water tariff rate which is expected to be high when taking treated water from Perak.
“The treated water to be sold by Perak is expected to be RM1.50 per litre as compared to the current water tariff rate of 32sen per litre now,” said Lim.
Chow said Perak agreed to supply treated water and since Penang will be getting treated water, there is no need to build a water treatment plant in the island for this purpose.
He said the examples Lim mentioned, such as Selangor and Singapore, both are taking raw water so the situation is different.
When approached outside the August house, Chow shared that Perak has agreed to provide treated water to Penang after discussions on the project which had dragged on for years.
“It is a breakthrough that they have agreed on principle, we have since held initial discussions on this matter,” he said.
Chow said Penang will only need to build its own treatment plant if Perak was to decide to provide raw water instead of treated water.
On Nov 11, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad confirmed that the state government had agreed to sell treated water to Penang following an agreement between the state secretaries.
The agreement comes after 14 years of discussions.