Friday, March 6, 2009
PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTER OF ENERGY, WATER AND COMMUNICATIONS INTENDS TO PROFIT CONCESSION COMPANIES AT EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE....!!!
SHAH ALAM – The Water Review Panel of the Selangor State Government views with concern the statement by Minister of Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor made in an interview yesterday (Berita Harian, 3rd March 2009).
He gave two reasons for wanting to speed up the process of restructuring the water industry in Selangor. First,he stated that the assets of all concession companies need to be taken over by 31st March 2009, or consumers would face an increase in the water tariff. The Water Review Panel would like to stress here that there will be
no such increase in tariffs should the State Government take over the assets.
Further, the State Government has written to the Minister requesting him to terminate the concession agreement with Syabas, due to their blatant breaches of the concession agreement. Despite Syabas’ obvious poor performance, lack of efficiency
and corrupt practices, the Ministry still intends to give the operating license back to them after ending the concession agreement. This is totally unacceptable as the federal governmnet appears to be rewarding its cronies.
His second reason is to help the concession companies bear the costs of borrowings and bonds that they currently cannot afford to. This is tantamount to an unacceptable bailout of these concessionaires. These private concessions have leveraged themselves to the maximum but at the same time, have paid themselves lucrative dividends.
Hence, there is absolutely no justification for “helping” the concessionaires pay off these debt. By doing so, the Minister seems to be only interested in protecting the private interests of businessmen and not the consumers and taxpayers of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
This is yet another example of privatizing profit and socializing losses i.e. letting
the rakyat pay for the inefficiencies of Syabas and Puncak.
SELANGOR WATER PANEL