SHAH ALAM, Aug 18, 2015:

Former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim says the water tariff in Selangor should not be increased if the state government was not paying more than RM9.75 billion for acquisition in equity from the four water concessionaires.

Khalid, who is the Port Klang assemblyman, said although his successor, Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali, had explained that the RM2 billion water restructuring fund for equity had not changed, he did not present a clear explanation regarding the RM7.5 billion loan.

“I like to stress that the RM7.5 billion is also important as both represent the cost of the takeover.

“If we are unable to pay off the RM9.75 billion, an increase in price will affect the price of water in the future.

“That is why I am concerned that if the cost increases, the price of water will be forced to increase as well to pay off the loan,” he told reporters at the Selangor State Assembly lobby, today.

In response to questions issued by PKR-Kajang assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail yesterday, Azmin did not rule out the probability that the water tariff in the state would be increased after PKR Selangor implements the industry’s restructuring as well as the procurement of the water concessionaires.

Azmin mentioned that the tariff increase would be part of the the state’s long-term disposition following the cost estimations taken on by Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd’s (Air Selangor) subsidiary company.

Commenting further on the matter, Khalid suggested that the acquisition of Syabas and Puncak Niaga should be done quickly so that there were no situation and circumstances in which employees were left with no clear instructions in delivering Selangor’s water services to the public.

“Based on our estimations, we can purchase at RM9.75 billion while overcoming the management problems that exist today which includes decreasing the rate of non-revenue water (NRW). Surely the problem of water price increase will not come up.”

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