NUSAJAYA - Johor has no plans to provide free water to consumers. However, it will continue offering water rebate for the hardcore and poor families instead.
The water rebate scheme was started in November 2010, said state public works, rural and regional development exco Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
"So far, 825 water account holders from the hardcore and poor families statewide have benefited from the scheme," he said.
Hasni was responding to a question from Mohammad Taslim (PAS-Maharani) who wanted to know whether the state government had plans to provide free water.
He also said that the state government had also wanted to extend the scheme to other underprivileged public, adding that it would get data from the Welfare Department and the Islamic Religious Department.
For the hardcore poor to be eligible for the scheme, their monthly water usage should not exceed 20 cubic metre, while for the poor at 10 cubic metre, he said when responding to a question from A. Aziz Ismail (BN-Senggarang).
Aziz wanted to know whether small families and senior citizens who are not from the hardcore and poor families who consumed less water monthly would also benefit from the scheme.
Hasni said instead of providing free water to consumers, the state government would focus on educating them to use water wisely and treat it as a precious commodity.
He added that statistics from SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd showed about 1.5 million water consumers or 511,479 accounts were charged less than RM20 (S$7.80) monthly, responding to a question from Teoh Yap Kun (BN-Paloh).
Meanwhile, the state government had dismissed claims by certain parties that Singaporean buyers were the main factors which had pushed prices of properties in Johor.
State housing and local government Datuk Abd Latiff Bandi said that there were several factors which contributed to the escalating prices of properties.
"It is not right to relate the hike in prices of properties to the presence of Singaporean buyers as we have a quota system imposed on foreign buyers," he said.
Abd Latif was responding to questions from Ayub Jamil (BN-Rengit) and Mohd Ismail Roslan (BN-Semerah) who said that Singaporeans caused the hike of properties prices especially in Iskandar Malaysia.
Hasni said for the double storey terrace and cluster houses, the quota was at 20 per cent for foreign buyers, 30 per cent for bungalow and land for bungalow lots and 50 per cent for condominiums, apartments and service apartments.
Abd Latiff said effective July 1, 2010, foreign buyers were only allowed to buy residential and commercial properties priced from RM500,000 and above.