Water woes: Stop insinuating Kelantan being left out - Rafizi

05 Aug 2023 08:48pm
Rafizi. Bernama FILE PIX
Rafizi. Bernama FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM – Perikatan Nasional (PN), especially Pas, has been reminded to stop insinuating that the state has been left out by the government, particularly when it comes to water issues.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said if based on the land revenue constitution, natural resources, including water, fall under the state government’s management.

He said this was why the water supply was formerly the responsibility of the state government, not only in Kelantan but also in other states.

"It was only in the early 2000s that the federal and state governments recognised that there was an existing problem, namely the investment to provide a water treatment plant with high cost, reaching billions of ringgit.

"If we leave it based on each state's capabilities, we are faced with states that are capable, like Selangor and Penang, because they are rich, and there are some states that are not capable," he said.

Rafizi stated this in a Jelajah Madani tour which he posted on his Facebook account on Saturday.

He added that a restructuring of the water supply was made in 2005 and 2006, which was named the Water Industry Act.

"At that time, the agreement between the states and the Federation was to separate investment responsibilities to help the state government not be burdened with investments to provide water treatment plants," he said.

Related Articles:

According to Rafizi, the Federal Government formed the national water asset holding company Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB).

"This is because it is easier for the federal government to go to the market and make debt to issue water bonds.

"If you want to build a water treatment plant, PAAB will issue debt bonds, and the federal government guarantees that they can take two to three billion of that money and then use federal money to build treatment plants," he said.

He clarified that the state government's role was to manage the water supply, therefore they must rent the water treatment plant assets paid for by the federal government, similar to how a house is rented.

"So, it's the state's responsibility to take water and distribute it to users, collect money, and make sure the money collected is enough to pay for the machine rental," he explained.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president stated that the strategy was employed throughout the country with the exception of Sabah and Sarawak.

"As a result, the issue of Kelantan being left out should not arise, the state government receives the same treatment that is the federal government's commitment when there is a need to build a treatment plant worth billions of ringgit that the federal government bears.

"So, if the collection of this water bill is well managed, the revenue will be sufficient to pay the plant's rent and to upgrade the pipeline, among other things."

"This model works well in all states, so why can't Kelantan do it?" he wondered.