Free water in Selangor from June or No Water?
Now I understand why my house and office no water! After they announced that they will be giving free water, my house and office also no water. Is this a trick or what? Still hope it’s not. Enjoy free water Selangor ppl! =)
Free water in Selangor from June
SHAH ALAM (June 11, 2008): Some one million households in Selangor will still get their 20 cubic metres of free water effective June 1, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.
Speaking to reporters after a discussion with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) CEO Datuk Ruslan Hassan and Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) president Datuk Abdul Karim Munisar, Khalid appeared pleased when he announced that all issues between the three parties had been resolved.
Ruslan and Abdul Karim were also present in the press conference in which Khalid explained that confusion over the issue arose because all the parties “wanted to make sure about what was going to be done”.
He said the consensus was arrived not after looking at an alternative method but after “clarification”.
“The system is the first of its kind in Malaysia after privatisation, so you will have to bear with us on issues related to it.
“The final analysis is that the issue has been resolved and we are giving free water to our consumers, as we promised,” Khalid added.
The free water policy will apply to 1.1 million domestic individual accounts in Selangor under Syabas’ jurisdiction, which also covers 1.5 million accounts in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Domestic users will receive new bills with a rebate for 20 cubic metres beginning June 16, while those who receive their bills before the date, will receive a payment rebate for June 1 to 15 in July’s bill.
Khalid said the payment costs will be borne by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB), which is wholly owned by the state government.
“We are still discussing this issue because there are three phases to the free water policy. The first is implementation of the billing of free water, second, the restructuring of the water industry in the state, and the third is that while the free water will continue, the allocation of funds and pricing will change after we take into account the economies of scale,” he said.
When asked about the costs, Khalid said costs to be paid to Syabas will be audited.
“We are expecting at least one million customers and multiplied by RM11 per customer, will come up to RM11 million, but we cannot get the exact figure.
“The most important thing is that the people of Selangor will receive free water,” he said, affirming that the deal has been signed in black and white and “even red”.
When approached by reporters later, Ruslan said Syabas had compromised by allowing KDEB to make their payments within 30 days of issuance of the bill, from its original request of 14 days.
“Taking into account the trend, monthly costs are expected to run up to an estimated RM10.8 million,” he said.
Asked if he was pleased with the outcome of the discussion, Ruslan answered in the affirmative while noting that Khalid was fair and objective.
FREE WATER POLICY RUSHED THROUGH
In PETALING JAYA, DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago said Selangor government’s first 20-cubic-metres (20,000 litres) free water policy was not properly well-thought before it was announced.
Santiago, who is also Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) coordinator, said: “I will maintain that households earning a monthly income of RM1,500 and below should still get free water. No question about it. I think those in the rich category would consider it an insult for not being charged.
“But the monies may have been better used for other facilities like helping buildings set up rain-harvesting systems which encourages conservation of processed water,” he told theSun when contacted.
Santiago, who is also Klang MP, argued that while household savings would run up to RM11.40 a month, the implementation would cost the state up to millions.
“The state must indicate the amount they would have to fork out every month and see if the money will be better used in other ways which will conserve water.
“This should have been thought of before the announcement was made but because it has been made, they are caught,” he said.
“Better planning would have also seen the state administration consulting the water concessionaire, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), in the implementation of the system.
“There would have been better understanding of the system and calculations. For example, both parties could see what happens after the first 20-cubic metres, if it would mean Syabas calculate the units after that as 21 cubic metres and above, or start again from the 1st cubic metre?
“Moreover, if the policy was thoroughly looked into, then the state may have considered using the funds to help construct rainwater equipment for its people, resulting in cheaper costs,” he said.
“By installing rainwater harvesting equipment, in even a five-storey walk-up building, it would teach the people to learn how to conserve water,” he said, adding that the Malaysian government should consider water auditing as another option of conservation, in line of the “tighten your belt” culture.
“I think the Selangor government can do this first by introducing a regulation for water auditing because it would encourage and ensure conservation, regardless of their incomes.
“Studies have shown that through water audits, households reduce their bills by up to 30% and 40%,” Satiago said, adding that this was already proven successful in India.