- The long drawn-out water deal between the Selangor and federal governments was finally concluded
The long drawn-out water deal between the Selangor and federal governments was finally concluded with the signing of the final four agreements by both parties.
The Facilities Agreement, Lease Agreement, Settlement Agreement and Rights of Use Agreement were signed by Pengurusan Air Selangor (Air Selangor) chief executive officer Suhaimi Kamaralzaman and Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Faizal Abdul Rahman.
After the conclusion of the signing ceremony yesterday, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili told a press conference the signing was a major milestone in the restructuring of the Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya water industry.
“With the conclusion of the agreements, the Master Agreement can be enforced and subsequently the sale and purchase agreement for the Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (PNHB) assets will also be enforced to allow Air Selangor to take over Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas),’’ said Dr Ongkili.
He added that Air Selangor had two weeks to take over PNSB and Syabas followed by the takeover of Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd within the next four months.
“The signatories have five months beginning today to complete all conditions precedent (CP) including transfer (meminda) the Syabas concession agreement as well as conclude concession agreements related to PNSB and ABASS,’’ said Dr Ongkili.
He said this was to enable Air Selangor to hold the Facility Licence in Selangor and the Service Licence in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali said the signing of the agreements would allow the completion of the Master Agreement and the release of up to RM2bil from PAAB to Air Selangor to pay for the takeover of water concessionaire companies – Syabas, PNSB, ABASS and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash).
“In exchange, Air Selangor will be transferring up to RM2bil worth of water assets to PAAB, which will subsequently be leased back to Air Selangor,’’ he said.
He added that Air Selangor would be given the Facilities Licence as well as a Service Licence next year.
“The licences will enable Air Selangor to provide holistic water supply services in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya,’’ he said, adding that Air Selangor was expected to take over Syabas and PNSB from Oct 1 onwards.
Out of the four concessionaires, all have agreed to the takeover except Splash which was disputing the amount offered to it on the grounds that the offer was not fair. Splash had maintained that the offer did not take into account the remaining value of the concession as it had the longest tenure remaining.
Splash has also been given one-year grace period from the time the Master Agreement came into force to renegotiate terms with the Selangor government.
Out of the RM2bil to pay the concessionaire companies – RM1.68bil will go to PNSB, Syabas and Abbas, while the remaining amount would be offered to Splash.
Dr Ongkili said the Selangor government would continue negotiating with Splash, with the federal government stepping in only when required.
He added it was up to the state to make the offer to Splash and the federal government would see how it can help.
When asked about the problem with Splash, Azmin said the state would strive to settle everything within the stipulated time.
“We are given one year to conclude the whole exercise from July 10 (from the date the Supplementary Agreement was signed) and the state has started initial discussions with Splash, so hopefully we should be able to conclude the whole discussion before July next year, and certainly we will go back to the federal (government) and discuss the details,’’ said Azmin.
He declined to reveal the amount that was being discussed with Splash.
Earlier in the day an an event in Kuala Selangor, Azmin said there would not be any more delay in the water restructuring exercise as everything had been concluded by both governments.
“Well, I strongly believe that once the whole industry has been taken over by the state, we would be able manage the industry well and more effectively in the interest of the rakyat,’’ said Azmin, adding there would not be any water shortage or disruptions after that.
He said Air Selangor’s main concern and concentration would be on ways to arrest the problem of non-revenue water (NRW).
“We are going to address the issue of NRW which is still very high in Selangor compared with many other states. At present our NRW is at 35%-36%,’’ said Azmin.