Authority stripped from Syabas

The Selangor Government continues to flex its muscle over water issues by overriding concessionaire Syabas’ authority to grant development order approvals to new projects and factories in the state.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that according to the concession agreement, state water regulator Datuk Noordin Sulaiman, who is also Selangor economic planning unit director, had the power to override Syabas’ decisions. Syabas was notified yesterday.

The state government, he said, had delegated the right to Syabas to approve development orders but had revoked that privilege due to the company’s poor service.

“Before anyone can get a development approval, each (relevant government) department will say yes’, no’ or can be considered’. For Syabas, they decided to say not recommended’.

“We will have the state water regulator look at it. Syabas is not the final authority with regards to giving this approval. Syabas can’t do it anymore,” he said after launching the Vibrant Selangor Seminar and Showcase here yesterday.

Some 60 manufacturers, said Khalid, had had their development order applications rejected by Syabas.

He said he had also written to Syabas and the Federal Government on Selangor’s intention to take over the concessionaire’s operations.

On Klang MP Charles Santiago’s call for Selangor to drop Halcrow Holdings, Suez Environment and Wessex Water as consultants due to conflict of interest as they also acted as advisers for the Federal Government, Khalid said he assumed the firms would act professionally.

He also said he had yet to receive Petaling Jaya City councillor Latheefa Koya’s resignation letter, adding that the matter would be discussed during the exco meeting today.

Meanwhile, state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the seven dams in Selangor, including Semenyih Dam, were full.

“Sungai Semenyih has plenty of water, which means that there is no need to release water from the reservoir into the river,” he said after visiting Semenyih Dam here yesterday.

“Why does Syabas have problems supplying water? Look, it has been raining every day,” he said, adding that 29 of the 34 treatment plants were leased to Syabas.

On Syabas’ claim that its plants were already operating at full capacity, Dr Xavier questioned its ability to manage and plan, adding that Selangor was also working on a plan to channel treated water from the northern part of the state to the south by 2014 or 2015.

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