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IPOH, Aug 4 — Perak will sell treated water to Selangor and Penang, the silver state’s Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu has announced.
He said informal negotiations with the two states will begin soon, and will be facilitated by the federal Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry.
“I have met the minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar on the matter and he has acknowledged it,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s 100 days in administration, Ahmad Faizal however said there was no time frame when the move would take off.
“We need to find land to build water treatment plants first,” he added, noting that the water rates would depend on negotiations with the two state governments.
He hoped negotiations would begin before year-end.
On a separate matter, Ahmad Faizal said the state would assist the Perak Water Board (LAP) to reduce its non-revenue water (NRW).
“We will find ways to reduce the wastage,” he added, noting that the high amount of NRW was one of the reasons the state could not give 10 per cent discount on consumers’ water bill.
“I did not U-turn on my earlier announcement but rather I corrected it,” he said.
The MB previously promised a discount on the total bill to consumers, but pointed out that the 10 per cent discount was not in the Perak Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.
Ahmad Faizal added that he had been criticised following his announcement of a 10 per cent discount from the total water bills.
“At least I was brave enough to admit my mistake. I need to be responsible to the rakyat and also LAP,” he said, adding that if the 10 per cent discount was implemented, it would only encourage people to waste water.
On July 27, Ahmad Faizal announced that instead of 10 per cent discount from the bill total, it will only apply on the first 20 cubic metres of water.
For this, Ahmad Faizal said LAP incurred RM8 million losses.
“Individual consumers may not feel it with their RM1 or RM2 monthly reduction but for LAP, it is a corporate social responsibility,” he added.
He however said the state was still committed to lower the water tariff in the long run.
“For this, we need to get the green light of the National Water Services Commission that will take time. But for the time being, we give discounts to consumers and free water to target groups,” he added.