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Muhyiddin sent a letter to Menteri Besar Selangor

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NANNING, China – The Federal Government sent a letter to the Selangor state government on Wednesday in response to some issues relating to water crisis expected in the state by 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also chairman of the special cabinet committee on Selangor water issue, said the letter would answer to all matters raised by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

“I was appointed by the cabinet to resolve the Selangor water issue and Wednesday, I sent a letter to address some of the issues that he had raised, including the question of a takeover of all water assets in the state by the state government.”

Speaking to journalists covering his three-day working visit which started here on Wednesday, Muhyiddin said Khalid had requested for the Federal Government to intervene (in the takeover) “but I explained that the matter did not come under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government”.

“I mentioned in the letter that the state government had to follow the agreements it signed with the concessionaires and therefore, the matter has to be resolved through negotiations (between the state government and water concessionaires) on a willing-buyer-willing-seller basis,” Muhyiddin said.

Khalid was reported to have said that the Selangor government would continue with its restructuring exercise of the water services industry if there was no objection from the Federal Government.

Khalid had said if Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui and his ministry did not respond within 14 days, he would assume that the ministry had no objections for him to continue the exercise.

Khalid had also said he sent a letter dated Sept 14 to Chin, outlining the state government’s intention to pursue the exercise. The letter was written in reply to an earlier correspondence from Chin on Aug 28.

The four concessionaires involved in the exercise are Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor, Konsortium Abbas, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor and Puncak Niaga.

In 2009, the state government first made a bid of RM5.7 billion but it was rejected, followed by a subsequent offer of RM9.2 billion last year but it was rejected by Puncak Niaga and Syabas.

Muhyiddin said it was up to the people to decide the “ultimatum” or “threat” (14-day deadline) issued by Khalid.

“I just don’t get it. I also don’t understand on what basis he wanted the minister to answer and decide (on the takeover). He (Khalid) should already have the answers for the people in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya who will be facing the crisis.”

“We must not be confrontational in handling matters such as this as it involves the rakyat.”

Muhyiddin also said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat-led state government must also overcome other issues relating to the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

“They must act rationally based on the considerations of the people, not based on emotions or politics.”

Recently, Muhyiddin said the tender for the construction of the Langat 2 plant would be called soon.

– New Straits Times