KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Selangor is well prepared to handle the prolonged dry spell, a state executive councillor assured several assemblymen in a message last night after a DAP federal lawmaker warned of an impending water crisis in the state.
Elizabeth Wong, who is Selangor tourism, environment, green technology and consumer affairs committee chairman, said the claim by Klang MP Charles Santiago was a “wild allegation” based on “inaccurate” calculations by the lawmaker.
“Today, the Klang MP made all kinds of wild allegations, inaccurate calculations and the news has now gone viral,” she wrote in the message sighted by Malay Mail Online late last night.
“Suddenly, the Selangor state government was being badly attacked, even though focus should be given to the states that are really facing huge problems like Negri Sembilan, Perlis, Penang and Johor,” she added.
Wong also revealed that in a meeting early yesterday morning, she had informed several media outlets, analysts and Japanese investment consultants that Selangor is ready to ride out the dry spell caused by the prolonged El Nino phenomenon.
“And then in the afternoon, I received calls from reporters,” she said. “This is very bad for Selangor’s name.”
At a press conference yesterday, Santiago claimed that Selangor could face a water crisis in 43 days if the Sungai Selangor reserves drop below the critical level of 40 per cent.
He cited statistics from water levels published by one of the state’s water agencies Lembaga Urusan Air Selangor (Luas) to back his claims, and said the Sungai Selangor and Semenyih dams are now depleting at a rate of 0.62 percent and 0.47 per cent daily.
The Sungai Selangor and Semenyih dams serve over five million people in the Klang Valley area.
Two days ago, the state’s executive councillor for infrastructure and public facilities Zaidy Abdul Talib insisted that the state would be able to manage the current drought spell well, and also expressed his confidence that no water rationing will be needed in this period.
In March, the state also launched a campaign to urge Selangor residents to conserve water.
Earlier this week, Penang Water Supply Corporation chief executive Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa warned that Kedah, Penang and Perlis and the northern parts of Perak would run out of water reserves in 30 days.
The shortage could affect as many as four million people in those states, as well as cause significant disruptions to agricultural activity, Jaseni said.