The DIRTY, FILTHY Politics of Water

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IT ALL SOUNDS SO WONDERFUL, DOESN’T IT? But the people, having suffered so long and so terribly, are sure to ask, “How will it benefit Putrajaya?” They will not believe that it is for their good….

Free Malaysia Today

Putrajaya takes over water control in S’gor

April 7, 2014

The decision is to ensure the security and sustainability of water supply to the people of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government has agreed to invoke Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) 2006 to assume control of all four water concession companies and the licensee in Selangor.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili said the decision was made to ensure the security and sustainability of water supply to the people of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

The decision was made by the Cabinet during its weekly meeting last Friday (April 4), he said a statement, here, today.

Ongkili said the federal government did not wish to allow the protracted negotiation on the water industry restructuring between the Selangor government and the concessionaires as well as the on-going water supply crisis plaguing the three regions to cause the people and the national economy to suffer.

He said the invocation of the said section of WSIA was conditional on both the federal and Selangor governments signing a Heads of Agreement in respect of the water industry restructuring, financial facilitation and completion of the Langat 2 project.

The condition is stipulated in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both parties on Feb 26 this year.

The ministry has been mandated by the Cabinet to decide on the commencement date of the invocation.

The four companies are Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd (Abbas) and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash).

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/04/07/putrajaya-takes-over-water-control-in-sgor/

HAVE WE ALL BEEN HOODWINKED?

Issues  |  MARCH 4, 2014 7:22 PM

The MoU that wasn’t

Selangor water in story banner edited

In the first part of our series on the Selangor water deal we look at the issues thrown up by the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Selangor state government and the federal government. This MoU may well be an agreement judging by the finality of some clauses.

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Essentially, the gist of the MoU facilitates the consolidation of the Selangor water concessionaires with a RM9.65 billion takeover and also allows the controversial Langat 2 water treatment plant to be constructed after a long delay.

The federal government has also promised to inject RM2 billion to facilitate the take over of the concessionaires, although it is not clear how this amount will be injected.

Is the MoU binding?

The crux of the matter now seems to be – is the MoU legally binding? Basically, it’s the details that are covered in a traditional commercial agreement – who owes what, when and how. Is this MoU equivalent to a binding agreement? And if either party (the state or federal government) default or renege on the MoU, will there be legal repercussions?

Traditionally, MoUs are not perceived legally binding simply because it is seen as part of a negotiation stage. It is more of a framework for the negotiating parties to move forward with the intention of working together.

Nevertheless, some legal experts do see the possibility of a MoU being legally binding.

“They can be binding. It’s the substance that matters, not so much the title. It depends on the entirety of the content. Traditionally, MoUs per se were not binding but merely reflected a commitment to do something,” said a legal adviser.

Now click on the link and continue reading:

http://www.kinibiz.com/story/issues/74747/the-mou-that-wasn%E2%80%99t.html

Tomorrow: What prompted Khalid to decide unilaterally?

THE BN GOVT HAS SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT!

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255943

xxx

Federal and Selangor govt sign MoU to restructure state water …www.nst.com.my –

When I read that Khalid has to ask the federal govt for permission to reveal the MOU, I get the feeling that Khalid is about to act as a ‘mandore’ to his ‘master’!

“If it is only a state-level MOU, it is within my power to disclose the data. But we need the agreement of the federal government before we can proceed.

“Please be patient, we will disclose once they have agreed (to it),” he said after launching PKR’s Kajang by-election operations centre today.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255943

Malaysiakini

6:52PM Mar 3, 2014

Anwar backs Rafizi on disclosing water deal

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim backs his party strategist Rafizi Ramli, who disclosed the content of the water restructuring exercised memorandum of understanding (MOU) inked by the Selangor and federal government, declaring that the party imposes no gag order.

Anwar said although the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government has repeatedly stated that the disclosure of the MOU at this juncture might be an illegal practice, there was no way for the party to stop someone from questioning state policy.

“Many asked why I allow so many statements from the party, but we can’t impose a gag order, or else we will be hammered. Just like when we disallow TV3 from covering our events,” he told a press conference today.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255943

Malaysian Insider

Water deal will be made public soon, says Khalid, denying RM20 billion price tag

By LEE SHI-IAN
March 03, 2014

The RM20 billion cost of the water restructuring deal is based on assumption and not the actual figure stated in the memorandum of understanding (MoU), said Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in response to his party colleague’s claim that Selangor will get into debt to fund the deal.

Khalid, who is the Selangor menteri besar, said an open briefing about the details of the MoU will be held soon to allay fears that the deal will not benefit the people of Selangor.

“The figures stated by PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli is based on speculation and assumption as the details of the deal have not been revealed,” said Khalid who added he will be meeting with representatives from Putrajaya tomorrow to get their approval to make the details of the MoU public.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/water-deal-will-be-made-public-soon-says-khalid-denying-rm20-billion-pricet

Free Malaysia Today

‘Only Langat 2 legally binding in MoU’

| March 3, 2014

The state government’s water deal withy the federal government is not in the people’s interests, says Rafizi .

KUALA LUMPUR: The only portion of the Shah Alam-Putrajaya water deal inked last week that is legally binding pertains to the construction of the multi-billion Langat 2 water treatment (LRAL2), said PKR’s Rafizi Ramli.

All other aspects of it, including the federal government’s pledge to facilitate the state government’s takeover of the four water concessionaires, is not binding and may not even be followed through by Putrajaya, Rafizi told a press conference today.

“The portion that is legally binding relates only to article 5(b) in the MoU which states clearly that the Selangor government’s responsibility is to “ensure all approval and permission related or necessary with regards to the construction of LRAL2…must be given by the Selangor State Government and relevant authorities”,” said Rafizi, quoting from what he claimed was a leaked copy of the MoU.

The copy, made available to the media, states that the “approval and permission” includes allowing the federal government to take over and register state land, and providing it a permit to use reserve forest land. The permission must be given on the date the MoU was signed.

“This means that the state government has given the government their one and only trump card — Langat 2 — in a lopsided deal that guarantees nothing for the people of Selangor,” stressed Rafizi.

“On the spot, the federal government has been given the greenlight to construct Langat 2, which we have always insisted is unnecessary and was only pushed through so that the BN government can award the multi-billion contract to its cronies,” he added.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/03/03/only-langat-2-legally-binding-in-mou/

Star

Monday March 3, 2014 MYT 6:47:54 PM

Muhyiddin: Water MoU focuses on Langat 2, not tariffs

KAJANG: The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the restructuring of the Selangor water industry focuses more on efforts to ensure the Langat 2 Project can be implemented, not to raise water tariff, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the MoU between the federal and Selangor governments focused on important issues such as the date for commencing work, the acquisition of more than 75 plots of land and the appointment of the contractors.

“That (water tariff increase) I do not know, so far we are just discussing the important stage of ensuring that the problem of water shortage in the Klang Valley can be resolved immediately.

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/03/03/muhyiddin-water-mou-focuses-on-implementation/

“(Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim) must explain the MoU to the public,” he said.

Star

Monday March 3, 2014 MYT 7:11:47 PM

Rafizi: Selangor water deal a loss for the people

Rafizi.

Rafizi

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor water agreement is a loss for people in the state, claims Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.

Rafizi, who is also PKR strategic director, said at a press conference on Monday that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Putrajaya and the Selangor state government on Feb 26 was one-sided and not in the state’s favour.

He claimed that the only thing legally binding in the MoU was the Langat 2 project and that there was nothing else legally binding to resolve the stalemate with water concessionaires or to compel them to accept the RM9.65bil compensation offer from state-owned Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd.

He went on to claim that Selangor could end up paying at least RM2bil more to the concessionaires.
..

Rafizi, who claimed he was seeking clarification as an MP, said the total cost to the people could be as high as RM20bil with the assumption that the takeover of water assets could amount to at least RM11.65bil.

“The cost to build Langat 2 has been conservatively estimated at RM8bil.

“If we look at the takeover and the cost of Langat 2 which is funded publicly through PAAB (the Federal Government’s Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd), we are looking at a RM20bil cost,” said Rafizi.

Rafizi also questioned whether the MoU was valid given that it was signed without being tabled and approved by the Selangor state executive council.

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/03/03/Rafizi-Selangor-water-deal-a-loss-for-the-people/

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THE WATER DEAL IS A TRADE-OFF
The Selangor government gets water restructuring and the federal government gets Langat 2.

Malaysian Insider

The Selangor water deal, what’s in it for you?

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
March 02, 2014

Is last week’s Putrajaya-Shah Alam deal to restructure the water industry in Selangor the best for its people? Probably not. Is it the best deal given the problems of the water industry? Maybe.

The deal, in the form of a memorandum of understanding, promises to reverse a decade of privatisation of the water industry in Malaysia’s most populous and richest state.

It would essentially give back to the Selangor government the power to manage water, from its supply in rivers and dams, to its treatment and all the way to how it flows through the taps of 7 million consumers.

It also gives the Selangor government the power to set how much consumers will have to pay and whether they will continue to get 20 cubic metres of water for free.

And for all this, it just has to approve the mega-billion dollar Langat 2 water treatment plant, which the federal government desperately wants to build.

But for all the hype about it, which has been five years in the making, many ask what is in it for the Selangor consumer?

In an interview with English daily The Star, Khalid had said that the deal ensures that Putrajaya helps Selangor take over the management of the water industry that is currently being held by four companies.

So by taking over the whole system, treatment plants, pipes and other facilities, the Selangor government will be able to control everything from supply to how much consumers will have to pay for their water.

The management of water will be put under Selangor government-linked company, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd.

Water Association Malaysia honorary secretary Mohamad Asari Daud said with this, there would not be four companies which needed to make a huge profit from water.

“In the past, because of the agreements, you had to increase tariffs every three years.”

Now, one government-owned entity will be in charge and they do not have to be motivated by profit, said Asari, a former district water engineer.

According to Khalid’s past statements, any tariff increase after the deal is done will be from 12% to 16%. Way lower than what Syabas’s agreement would have demanded.

“And when me make profit, some of that money will be channelled towards continuing our free water programme,” Khalid said.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/the-selangor-water-deal-whats-in-it-for-you

MB Khalid, suspected by the ‘other faction’ in the internal PRK tussle of having a hidden agenda, puts Selangor and its rakyat at a disadvantage!

YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA

Selangor water deal ‘binding and irrevocable’, MoU states

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — Selangor appears to be getting the short end of the stick in its water agreement with Putrajaya as the construction of the long-opposed Langat 2 treatment plant is deemed “binding and irrevocable”, while the valuation of water assets is subject to negotiation.

The contentious memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was obtained by The Malay Mail Online yesterday, also did not specify exactly how the federal government will provide the RM2 billion allocation to aid the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government in acquiring water utilities in Selangor.

“In exchange and in order to implement the agreement on the sale and purchase of raw water between the Pahang state government and the Selangor state government, the Selangor state government must… ensure that all relevant approvals (whether they have already been identified, or will emerge) in relation to the LRAL2 from the Selangor state government or the relevant authorities are binding and irrevocable, and are in effect in any condition whatsoever and cannot be retracted, canceled, hung, or amended, unless the federal government makes such a request,” the MoU states, referring to the Langat 2 water treatment facility and its distribution system as LRAL2.

The agreement also states that Selangor is to ensure that all necessary approvals for Langat 2, including land use and the permit for the use of forest reserve land, will be given within 30 days from the date of the MoU.

http://my.news.yahoo.com/selangor-water-deal-binding-irrevocable-mou-states-230400970.html

AT A COFFEE SHOP IN IPOH
In an animated discussion involving the proprietor, a customer and Blogger, it was obvious that the other two did not believe that the MOU between the BN Federal Govt and the Selangor State Govt would come to anything. “It’s just talk, as usual,” was the common ground, to which Blogger concurs.

YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA

Water takeover deal leaves Anwar red-faced

PETALING JAYA, Feb 28 — Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is driving Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders, particularly de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, mad with anger and there are some who view Khalid with envy.

He has just concluded the water takeover with the federal government without even referring to or, at the very least, informing the party leaders of his intent.

This even left Anwar red-faced when asked by reporters.

However, Khalid is not bothered by what Anwar or other leaders in the party think of him.

After all he is the menteri besar and what he does is for the good of the state and the people.

http://my.news.yahoo.com/water-takeover-deal-leaves-anwar-red-faced-225200199.html

“What is important is the contents of the document, not the labeling. One can have a perfectly legally binding document and still call it a MoU,” Syahredzan said.

Malaysian Insider

Something stinks in the Selangor water deal

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
February 28, 2014

The Putrajaya-Selangor memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the acquisition of state water assets and construction of a RM1.2 billion water treatment plant does not seem to pass the smell test.

And if something does not smell right, it is not right.

First off, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today described the MOU signed on Wednesday as a binding agreement, although PAS central committee member Dr Dzukefly Ahmad pointed out it was not, unlike a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

Lawyers have chipped in too on the matter, saying MOUs are not legally binding as they just reflect an intention to work together to a common goal.

“It is normally signed when two parties want to work together, but do not want a legally binding agreement with each other,” lawyer Syahredzan Johan told The Malaysian Insider.

“However, I am speaking from the perspective of not having seen the contents of the MoU signed between the Selangor state government and the Federal government.”

“What is important is the contents of the document, not the labeling. One can have a perfectly legally binding document and still call it a MoU,” Syahredzan said.

Read more:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/something-stinks-in-the-selangor-water-deal

THE POLITICS OF WATER

Even the most naive of people have come to understand that the Water Crisis in Selangor has been created almost entirely by several factors: the Federal Government’s ownership of SYABAS, Selangor’s Opposition-led Khalid State Government and in recent days, the infighting among Pakatan Rakyat component parties. ALL ARE TO BE BLAMED.

The rakyat suffer because politics has again trumped their basic need for clear, clean water.

WE WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN TO CHANGE THE SITUATION, ESPECIALLY AFTER READING THE FOLLOWING REPORT.

No, we would be wrong. It will take at least 2-3 years, perhaps 5 years, before anything is accomplished.

WHAT HAS BEEN SIGNED IS JUST AN AGREEMENT TO TALK SOME MORE…

THIS SOUNDS GRAND AND WONDERFUL, DOESN’T IT?

“The state government expects to complete the takeover process within three months, including share acquisition and retention of non-management employees.”

Let’s wait and see…

Malaysiakini

1:36PM Feb 26, 2014

Finally, Selangor gets control of water industry

The Selangor and the federal governments have reached agreement on the state’s takeover of all four water companies, which will receive compensation of RM9.65 billion.

Putrajaya will also inject RM2 billion into the deal to help the Selangor government to acquire the shares of the companies.

In return, Selangor will allow the federal government to proceed with construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

The plant must be approved by Selangor within the next 30 days and will be supplied with raw water from Pahang under two state-to-state agreements signed in 2001 and 2007. This will solve water shortages in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya.

The project had been stalled by absence of local council approval, which the state government had used to leverage its negotiations to take over the water companies, toward cost-efficient management.

Today’s agreement brings to a close a near five-year tussle between the two governments for control of Selangor’s water supply services.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255445

Sundaily

Federal and Selangor governments sign MoU on water restructuring

PUTRAJAYA: The federal and Selangor governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the restructuring of the state’s water supply industry which has dragged on for five years.

Describing the signing of the MoU as timely, Khalid said: “We have agreed to implement the restructuring of the water industry which we considered timely in light of the current situation to ensure that water consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya enjoy the best service,” he said.

Negotiations on the restructuring exercise started in 2008 with no end in sight to the detriment of the state’s water supply services industry and new development projects due to worries over water shortage. The quagmire has stalled the LRAL2 project, an important component in resolving impending water woes in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. – Bernama

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/969630

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1 Response to The DIRTY, FILTHY Politics of Water

  1. Pingback: Water CRISIS in Selangor and KL: Rationing starts on Thursday, 27 Feb 2014! | weehingthong

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