Is tap water really safe for drinking, minister?

  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 29 Jan 2003

DR A. SOORIAN of Seremban (via e-mail) writes: 

I REFER to comments by Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that our tap water is safe to drink and could be consumed at any time. 

He was responding to a statement by the Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry that it would “check water quality in Kuala Lumpur following complaints”. 

The public has always been disgruntled about supply and safety of water, and for good reason. 

In Negri Sembilan, water tariffs were increased by 115% for domestic purposes and 163% for industries. This is manifestly excessive, all factors considered. 

The Linggi River has been, and still is, one of the most polluted rivers in the country. Contaminated water from this source was the cause of cholera outbreaks. 

It is sad to state that the quality of water over the past three decades has not got any better. 

On Aug 1, last year, State Water Supply Department director Mohd Tajul Urus Tajuddin said: “A high percentage of ammonia and leachate has been detected in the supply of late.” 

Leachate is a toxic liquid from garbage. Ammonia indicates contamination by chemical fertilisers, human waste or animal carcasses.  

The situation is really pathetic. We wonder what the good Works Minister has to say about this? 

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