LAST_UPDATEMon, 23 Jul 2018 8pm

Federal, Selangor Governments To Take Over Water Companies

Syabas's role is about to change/Google ImagesSyabas's role is about to change/Google ImagesSHAH ALAM: The federal and state governments have agreed to invoke Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 to take over the management of four water concessionaires in Selangor after negotiations fell through, said the menteri besar.

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the decision was made in a meeting between him and Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili on Tuesday.

The take over, however, was subject to a few conditions set by the ministry, in particular, that two administrators be appointed by the National Water Services Commission to manage the water concessionaires.

He said Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd president Suhaimi Kamaralzaman and Menteri Besar Incorporated chief executive officer Faekah Husin had been appointed as the two administrators.

"Negotiations to acquire the four water concessionaires, namely, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd, were held and the state had offered RM9.65 billion to take over the equity of the concessionaires.

"However, our discussions, which followed the basis of 'willing buyer-willing seller', failed to conclude by Dec 31, a deadline set by the ministry.

"We believe the main reason for the failed negotiations was the unrealistic expectations of the water concessionaires' shareholders regarding their companies' equity value," Khalid said after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.

He said the state government was committed to restructuring and cancelling the privatisation of the water industry to ensure better services at reasonable rates for the people.

"We have tried hard to take over the concessionaires because they have failed to provide good services with reasonable tariffs despite reaping high profits."

Khalid reiterated the state government's commitment in ensuring the completion of the Langat 2 water treatment plant, the details of which were contained in an official letter handed over to Ongkili during the meeting.





-NST Online