Selangor reviewing free water policy

SHAH ALAM: Selangor is relooking its policy of giving away 20 cubic metres of treated water each month for every household, says Mentri Besar Azmin Ali. He said the review would help to identify those who were really in need of the free water, a measure first introduced when Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor in 2008. Admitting that there were many recipients of the free water who were actually undeserving, Azmin said many were using the treated water for watering plants, washing cars or filling up their swimming pools. “How could we subsidise these activities?” Azmin told reporters on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly session yesterday.

He suggested that Selangor could introduce some form of vetting in order to identify the deserving recipients of this free water that was costing the state at least RM120mil a year. According to Azmin, the cost went up substantially after many households switched over from bulk water meters to individual meters, thus increasing the number of eligible recipients. He appeared confident that the review would not lead to unhappiness.

“If you give a proper explanation and justification on why we need to review, they will understand,” said Azmin, who assured the lower income group that they would be taken care of. He maintained there was no plan to scrap the free water scheme even after the ongoing Selangor water industry restructuring exercise was concluded. However, he could not rule out any tariff increase in the near future.

Sourced from: The Star | Monday, 18 August 2015