'No denying Selangor has water crisis'

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government can no longer deny that the state is experiencing a shortage in clean water following a supply disruption that left half a million people in the Klang Valley with dry taps.

State Umno liaision deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar, who is a member of the cabinet committee on the Selangor water issue, said the state government should not shift the blame to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) as it was Selangor's dilly-dallying over the Langat 2 project that had caused the problem.

"That's the difference between the Federal Government and Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government. The Federal Government had planned the construction of Langat 2 some 16 years ago as there was the possibility that we might face a shortage by 2014."

"During a cabinet committee meeting, we were briefed on the plans for Langat 2. It was proposed by our experts in collaboration with the Japanese government."

"Japan would not have participated in the project if it is not viable," he said after accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on a working visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Alam Megah 2, in Section 27, here, yesterday.

Noh said Selangor's development may regress if its water issues were not resolved soon.

He said many factories, which were supposed to begin operations this year, had postponed starting up as there was insufficient water and this had cost the people of Selangor 12,000 jobs.

Syabas chief executive officer Datuk Ruslan Hassan said the company had anticipated the problem and had requested the Selangor government to install an additional pump system in 2009, but it was only approved in March last year and was still in the planning stage.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim called on Syabas to stop blaming the state government.

He said the problem was caused by Syabas' failure to repair a water pump that had been damaged for more than a year.

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