GEORGE TOWN, Jan 12 — The Penang government is ready to defend its Riparian Water Rights against the Kedah government if the neighbouring state insists on taking the water issue to court.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state is prepared to meet his Kedah counterpart in court if the latter insists on taking legal action to force Penang to pay for extracting raw water from the Muda River.
“The Muda River does not belong exclusively to Kedah as part of it “belonged” to Penang,” Chow said in a statement today.
He said Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor does not have any basis to claim payment from Penang for extracting raw water from the river.
He said the facts clearly showed that Penang has the right to abstract raw water from the Muda River without paying Kedah as the river flowed through both Kedah and Penang lands, citing a 1985 law to substantiate his assertion.
“In addition to that, it is a fact that the Muda River flowed through Penang as documented under the Kedah and Penang (Alteration of Boundary) Act 1985,” he said.
He added that the state enactment approved by Kedah and Penang in 1985 also placed the boundaries of both states along the centre line of the river.
Since 2010, the Kedah government had repeatedly demanded the Penang government to pay raw water charges of up to RM50 million a year for extracting raw water from the Muda River.