Selangor water deal finalised, says Azmin

Selangor and Putrajaya today finalised the water restructuring and consolidation agreement, ending a 10-month stalemate over the matter.

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said the supplemental agreement was signed at the office of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.

"The signing of the Supplemental Agreement to the Master Agreement dated September 12, 2014, follows the conclusion of the government of Selangor's negotiations with the government of Malaysia.

"This signing clearly shows that the state government can work well with the federal government when both parties are prepared to set aside extraneous concerns for the common good and welfare of the people. 

The people’s interest must come first over everything else," he said in a statement. The master agreement was signed by Azmin's predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in September last year, aimed at taking over operations of the RM30 billion Selangor water industry from four private companies and returning it to public ownership.

The terms of the master agreement include state special-purpose vehicle Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (PASSB) acquiring Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd (Abass) and services licence-holder Konsortium Air Selangor Sdn Bhd.
Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali says the state and Putrajaya has finalised the water restructuring and consolidation agreement. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 10, 2015.

 Azmin said today that the agreement would have a major and direct socio-economic impact on some eight million people in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, adding that it was an effort to return the rights to water supply to the people. 

He lauded Muhyiddin, whom, Azmin said, had displayed "leadership and conviction" in ensuring that the issues surrounding the water deal was resolved as soon as possible. 

The menteri besar also praised Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, whom he had previously criticised for the delay in the signing of the agreement, for his "co-operation and understanding".

 "Despite the challenges and criticisms, all parties have demonstrated in the discussions and negotiations a serious commitment to work towards an amicable and sustainable resolution for the benefit of the rakyat. 

"Once the take-over and consolidation of the private water concession companies under State-owned entity Air Selangor is completed, all efforts will be focused on further improving the water treatment and distribution systems as well the overall water supply services.

 “I look forward to further and more productive engagement and collaboration between Shah Alam and Putrajaya for the overall and long term good of the people,” he said. On Tuesday, Azmin was reported as saying the restructuring of the water services industry which should have been finalised soon might be delayed again after the state government received a notice from the Attorney-General's Chambers that the state government had to hand over its land assets to the federal government for the implementation of the restructuring. 

Azmin was also quoted as saying that the delay was due to the attitude of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water which frequently dilly-dallied and changed their stand on resolving the matter.

On Wednesday, secretary-general of the ministry Datuk Loo Took Gee denied Azmin's allegations and said the agreement took a long time to be finalised due to the continuing claims made by the Selangor government for two federal assets, the Semenyih and the Bukit Nenas water treatment plants. – July 10, 2015.