A Tale of Two Water Supply Systems

loading The Teluk Bahang Dam in Penang.

In the days before the world’s governments went mad about privatisation, supplying utilities such as water or electricity was the main raison d’être for government and for government taxation. Those simple days are gone, and especially in Selangor, people certainly wish they would come back. But there is no way back.

The issue of water has re-emerged in the state of Selangor. Peter Chin, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, recently issued a statement saying his hands are tied and there is nothing the federal government can do to expedite the restructuring of the water industry in Selangor, which has reached a stalemate after more than three years of negotiations. This crisis has in the past been contrasted to the Penang state government’s successful water deal. Prime Minister Najib Razak had at the time called on other Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) state governments to follow Penang’s example.

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