Selangor yet to write to Putrajaya to reveal water deal

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KUALA LUMPUR: The progress on the restructuring of the water services industry in Selangor seems to have temporarily grounded to a halt as Menteri Besar (MB) Mohamed Azmin Ali is preoccupied with preparations for the state government’s Budget 2015.

Mohamed Azmin has yet to send a letter to the federal government requesting the latter to make public the contents of the signed agreement on the water services industry between the previous administration of the Selangor government and the federal government.

“It has just been two weeks since he has taken over the MB position. He is currently working on preparing Budget 2015 so he has to engage with various governmental agencies on the matter,” said an officer with the Selangor government when contacted by The Edge Financial Daily yesterday.

The state assembly is scheduled to convene next month, during which the state’s Budget 2015 is expected to be tabled.

On Oct 2, Mohamed Azmin said he would write to Putrajaya to demand the contents of the signed water deal between the previous administration and the federal government, currently kept under the Official Secrets Act 1972, be revealed.

He said then that the letter would be sent “in a week or so”.

Earlier yesterday, Deputy Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid told reporters that the federal government is still waiting for the Selangor government’s official correspondence on the matter before being able to facilitate further discussions on the restructuring of the water services industry in the state.

“Last Wednesday, the new menteri besar said the administration will send a letter to the ministry on the water agreement between the state and federal governments as soon as possible,” he said after opening the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia 2014 here yesterday.

“But we don’t know as we haven’t received their letter. We will wait for their letter, then we can reply,” Mahdzir said.

Under the leadership of previous MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the state government, via Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd, purchased Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd or Syabas for RM4.34 billion, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd for RM2.47 billion and Konsortium Abbas for RM992.2 million.

Only the deal with Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd or Splash, which is 40% owned by Gamuda Bhd, is yet to be finalised, with the offer reportedly still standing at RM1.83 billion.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 16, 2014.