Malaysia's Health Ministry to table Safe Drinking Water Bill soon

KUALA LUMPUR- The Health Ministry will soon table a bill in Parliament to better safeguard the rights of consumers and protect them from potential health hazards. The Safe Drinking Water Bill which spells out the roles of water concessionaires in supplying quality drinking water to millions of consumers nationwide - is to give the authorities more bite to act against irresponsible water operators and distributors.

Sources said the penalty proposed for those who cause a water source or drinking water system to be contaminated should be a fine of up to RM500,000 and a jail term not exceeding five years.

The ministry's monitoring role only went as far as "reminding water concessionaires" to toe the line, said an official involved in the industry for years.

"There is no real bite in existing laws. Under this Bill, consumers are assured of good quality drinking water as it clearly spells out the duties of the concessionaires," he told The Star.