People in Selangor have a clear option to avoid a water crisis by voting wisely in the coming election for a government that will run the state efficiently in the next five years, says Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin.
He alleged that the obstructionist policies of the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government for the last five years had almost frustrated efforts by the federal
government to ensure adequate water supply to Selangor, the country's premier economic region and fastest growing state, as well as Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
"So if you ask me, what can the people of Selangor do to end all the uncertainties about the security of their water, my advice is this -- they have to be wise in voting for the government that will run the state.
They must take this water issue seriously. Do they want a government that does nothing except to politicise this issue and to continue to deny that there is a water shortage?" Chin said in an interview with Bernama.
He criticised the Selangor government for coming out with all sorts of unreasonable and ridiculous arguments to block projects undertaken by the federal government to ensure the long-term water security.
The most glaring among this was its opposition to granting the development order for the Langat 2 water treatment plant which is a vital component for the raw water transfer project from Pahang that was already over 70 percent
completed, Chin said.
"So, what is wrong in having this project?" he asked.
"They (Selangor state government) even accused us of awarding this project to our cronies. But we are implementing it in a transparent manner via open
tender. So to the voters of Selangor, please think hard. You can solve this problem once and for all at the ballot box. And the federal government has made a final decision to go ahead with the Langat 2 project in the national
interest," Chin stressed.
He said the conflicting signals given by the current Selangor government on
water only added to more confusion. For example, it kept on denying there was a water shortage but at the same time it had agreed to the implementation of several mitigation projects.
The federal government had to agree to these mitigation projects to avoid a water crisis in the short-term but these were only stop-gap measures to meet the demand only from 2014 to 2016 because in the long-term, Langat 2 was the only solution.
"That is why we have already decided we will go ahead with the project. We will award the tender," he said.
According to Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) or the National Water Services Commission, without Langat 2, water reserves from 2016 would only be around 0.5 percent or 26 million litres "which is nothing because even one housing project needs two to three million litres,", Chin said.
""So how long can 26 million (litres) last? By 2017, we are talking about a deficit of 2.9 percent if there are no other sources even with mitigation projects in place, plus whatever we have now. And in terms of absolute figure, it's 146 million litres (equivalent) of water shortage.
"And then by 2018, it's going to be worse again, hitting 6.6 percent shortage. So if you go on, by 2020 if there are no other sources and without Langat 2, (this would be) over 14 percent deficit. Now (with) this 14 percent deficit, who will be hit? Your house? My house? (Selangor menteri besar) Tan Sri Khalid's (Ibrahim) house? Or the prime minister's (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) house?
"We will be forced to ration water. Are we prepared for water rationing? So there is absolutely no reason why anyone should oppose Langat 2," Chin said.
Chin said he was only hoping for Khalid to use common sense in tackling the
He said SPAN, as the ultimate water authority in the country, could not continue to approve new development projects that could come on stream within the next two or three years if there was not enough water to go by.