PUTRAJAYA, June 2 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has told all states in Peninsula Malaysia to quickly join the National Water Services Industry Restructuring Initiative.
In the end, the move would surely benefit the people in the states, he said at the signing of the Penang State Water Supply Restructuring Agreement here today.
Present was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Perlis have signed their respective water restructuring agreements.
“With today’s signing, Penang became the first opposition state to sign the agreement. I hope it becomes a catalyst for other states,” Najib said.
He said that for the states that had signed the restructuring agreement, Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) had allocated over RM1 billion for capital expenditure from 2010 through to April 2011.
“Penang’s migration to the country’s new water industry regime will generate rapid development for the state, particularly in the water industry,” he said.
He said the restructuring involved the transfer of ownership by way of lease of Penang government’s RM655.2 million water assets to PAAB and in return, PAAB would take over the state’s water liabilities of the same value.
PAAB would then lease the water assets to the Penang Water Supply Corporation at an annual rate agreed upon both parties.
Meanwhile, Najib who acknowledged the smooth running of Penang water management, gave an assurance that the state’s water supply restructuring would not burden the people.
“It’s actually a success and a victory for Penangites because it’s something very profitable to them.
“We can see a very good effort towards a more efficient and integrated industry providing quality clean water to the the people at reasonable prices,” he said.
Najib who is Finance Minister also explained that the Penang government could still determine water tariffs in the state, not the federal government nor the National Water Services Commission.
The water industry restructuring was the federal government’s initiative to help and modernise the national water supply industry, he added.
Source : Bernama