Deal to ease Selangor’s water woes signed

Deal to ease Selangor’s water woes signed

PUTRAJAYA - The deal between the Federal Government and Selangor to restructure the state's water services industry has been completed with the signing of a master agreement.

Under the accord, a new entity, Air Selangor Sdn Bhd has been formed to take over the operations and maintenance of water treatment plants and water supply services in the state that were previously managed by four companies.

The master agreement was signed by Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah on behalf of the Federal Government, State Secretary Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi, on behalf of the Selangor government, while Peng­urusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) was represented by chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Ahmad Faizal Abdul Rahman and Air Selangor Sdn Bhd by its CEO Suhaimi Kamaral­zaman.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maxi­mus Ongkili and Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim witnessed the signing here yesterday.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Prior to the signing of the deal, both parties had signed a memo­randum of understanding on the restructuring exercise in February, followed by the signing of a "heads of agreement" document last month.

Among others, the master agreement would see Air Selangor Sdn Bhd taking over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd (Abass) and Konsortium Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (KASB), the service licence holder.

Dr Maximus said PAAB would allocate RM1.68bil to Air Selangor Sdn Bhd to facilitate the takeover of Syabas, PNSB and Abass.

"In return, the Selangor government will transfer water assets of the same value to PAAB on a leasehold basis for a period of 45 years.

"PAAB will also take over the concession companies' liabilities and the Federal loan to the state, Syabas and PNSB, estimated at RM7.45bil," he said in a statement.

Dr Maximus said Air Selangor Sdn Bhd would be given the service licence under the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) to treat and distribute water in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Later, at an event in Port Klang, Khalid said the state government would make an announcement on Monday on details of the deal.

Asked if the agreement signed between both governments would guarantee continuous supply of water for the people, he said: "This will give us an opportunity to handle the water industry entirely."

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