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Selangor water tussle still holding back property projects-The Sun Fri June 22
Date: 22 June 2012

Selangor water tussle still holding back property projects

Posted on 22 June 2012 - 09:42am -The Sun
Last updated on 22 June 2012 - 09:48am

“Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has been holding back development order approval for new projects and factories in Selangor since January on the grounds that there’s no water,” complained a property developer who called theSun to highlight this issue, but wanted to remain unnamed.

Syabas executive chairperson Tan Sri Rozali Ismail has gone on record to say that the reason for this disruption is because the water distribution company does not want to overload its water treatment plants.

Rozali (who owns about 40% of the company’s parent company, Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd) has at the same time called for the state government’s approval of the Langat 2 water treatment plant which processes water to be channelled from Pahang as part of an infrastructure project which would cost billions of ringgit.
The Selangor government has stated that it does not want to approve this plant, arguing that reducing water wastage would be more cost-effective.

“There has been a series of meetings between the state government and Syabas about this over the last couple of months but things are still at a standstill,” says Charles Santiago, Klang MP and member of the Coalition Against Water Privatisation.

Santiago believes that the only way to break the deadlock is to have international arbitration or some reputable water auditor outside of Malaysia doing a complete audit of the distribution and management of water in Selangor.

In the meantime, developers are calling for a quick resolution of the matter. Previous Selangor chief for Rehda (Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Assocation of Malaysia) Ngiam Siew Siong had in earlier reports said that purchasers are being victimised because of this delay in water connection, and feared that this problem would lead to a rise in abandoned projects.

“Syabas think that they’re catching the opposition, but they’re catching the house buyers,” adds the developer who called theSun. He warned that there may be a disruption to the supply of properties built over the next few years because of this issue.

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