KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The Ministry of Energy Transition and Water Transformation believes that Sabah needs to have a regulatory body to monitor the level of service provided by water operators in the state.

Its Deputy Minister, Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said that in Peninsular Malaysia, there is the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), which not only regulates water supply but also sets several conditions under existing acts to ‘bind’ operators to constantly improve service quality.

He said this was important because the overall water supply reserve margin in Sabah in 2022 was only at 7.1 per cent and there is a possibility that the water supply reserve margin in each district is also much lower than the overall figure.

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“For this reason, to manage water supply in Sabah, I feel there is a need at the state level to have a regulatory body. However, we understand in Sabah, there are enactments.

“So we need to consider whether the regulatory process should be centralised with the same commission (SPAN) or we should establish a new one at the state level,” he said during a special chambers session of the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this in response to issues raised by Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan-Kota Belud) regarding critical water supply issues in Sabah and steps to expedite the implementation of planned water projects.

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Akmal Nasrullah said last year, a total of RM258 million was allocated to the state to implement several projects including the construction of the Cinta Mata 2 Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Tawau, which is currently in the procurement process.

“The Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for this project is expected to be issued in January 2025. As for water connection projects, six are currently underway and four projects have been completed and are in the process of finalising accounts,” he said.

For this year, he said three new projects and 10 water connection projects were also approved. — Bernama