By “Top Management” I mean the state government.
For the people of Petaling district, this is the second time that taps have run dry. The first was just before Aidil Adha (2nd September 2016) when a pipe burst caused taps in Subang Jaya, USJ, parts of Puchong and Pinggiran USJ to not have water supply for about three days. The second time which began two days ago is caused by contamination of the raw water supply to the Semenyih River Water Treatment Plant and this time several districts are affected namely
- Hulu Langat (Bangi, Bandar Bukit Mahkota, Kajang, Semenyih and Rinching),
- Kuala Langat (Morib, Banting, Saujana Putra, Bandar Rimbayu and Teluk Panglima Garang),
- Petaling (USJ1-27, Puchong, Seri Kembangan and Serdang),
- Sepang (Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Bandar Nusa Putra, Putra Heights, Pulau Meranti, Kota Warisan, Bandar Bukit Puchong and Sungai Merab).
If you have no idea how huge an area that is, let me represent them using the map below:
Both these situations were totally avoidable. Since 2010 various water-related non-governmental organisations, water industry players as well as the Federal Government have advised the Pakatan-led Selangor state government to allow for the construction and completion of the Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant. Else, Selangor would face a water crisis by 2014. The state government vehemently denied that Selangor would face such a crisis.
True enough, people in Selangor had to undergo scheduled rationing in 2014 and 2015. 60,000 accounts were affected. That translates into at least 360,000 people who were directly affected. This time it could be far more.
Selangor has been giving away 20 cubic meters of water free to consumers since 2008 when Pakatan won the state from the Barisan Nasional – a very poorly thought of political decision; a populist move rather than a prudent one. It costs a lot not only to treat water but also to maintain 27,420 kilometres of pipes. Giving away water for free and not increasing tariffs will ensure that you would not be able to maintain your operations efficiently, and even an idiot would know this.
When a pipe burst on the 2nd September 2016, instead of helping by explaining the situation, an assemblyman decided to take it out on Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS). This assemblyman gave the most absurd ideas on how to manage water cuts:
This invited a basket of zombies to support her statement, some even blaming the Federal government for the problem. In one of the community WhatsApp groups one even said that maybe the problem was created by the Barisan Nasional to create hatred towards the Selangor state government. What they failed to realise is that the Selangor state government IS the one managing it’s water treatment and supply:
The second problem is that unlike Penang, Selangor does not gazette its water catchment areas. Factories, loggers have no problem whatsoever to encroach into the water catchment areas. It is a no-brainer that this is the contributing factor to the hundreds of cases of contamination of the Langat and Semenyih rivers and their tributaries.
Let us not kid each other. The Selangor state government has been in denial about the dire water situation in the state since 2008. It was made worse when the whole situation was not dealt with properly and by not heeding the advice of the industry players.
So, I hope Hannah Yeoh actually means it when she said there should be a management change. It should be a change in the management of the state. It can’t even handle the basic but extremely critical issues and it’s members are spending more time bashing others than actually looking into the problems the rakyat is facing! And when shit actually hits the fan, this is the sorry excuse to say “Oh! We’re with you! We feel your pain!”