Mukhriz: Kedah seeking US$50m loan to upgrade water supply infrastructure

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir arrives in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir arrives in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

GEORGE TOWN, April 16 — The Kedah government is in the midst of obtaining a US$50 million (RM206.8 million) loan from a foreign bank for upgrading the water supply infrastructure in the state.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said the state government, which applied for the soft loan with the cooperation of the Ministry of Finance, hoped to obtain the allocation soon.

“As many state representatives have said, the problem of non-revenue water (NRW) is still at a high level, of 49 per cent.

“The state government will immediately start the NRW project, which will be funded by a foreign bank, once the agreement is sealed with the Ministry of Finance,” he told reporters after the completion of the fourth meeting of the first term of the 14th Kedah State Legislative Assembly sitting here today.

He said a detailed study by Syarikat Air Darul Aman (SADA) regarding the NRW problem would be immediately implemented to identify the affected areas.

“Areas which often experience (water pipe) leakages cannot be announced as long as it has not been decided by SADA and the bank (which is giving the loan),” said Mukhriz.

Mukhriz also said that Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar had, during the Dewan Rakyat sitting a few days ago, said that Kedah’s RM1.7 billion water infrastructure debt would be written off and considered a grant from the federal government.

“The state government is writing a letter to the relevant ministry to get confirmation on the debt write-off,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the state assembly this time, Mukhriz said he was satisfied that the debates went smoothly and several important issues were discussed.

He said the government and opposition debated very well and both parties made efforts to find the best approach to solving issues in the state, especially regarding the water supply problem. — Bernama