Azmin: Decision on Splash takeover extended for another 6 months

DAWN CHAN

SHAH ALAM: The deadline to conclude the takeover of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Berhad (Splash) which was set for April this year, has been extended for another six months, said Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali today.

Azmin (PKR-Bukit Antarabangsa) revealed this at the Selangor state legislative assembly earlier as the Federal government was still waiting for the results on the valuation of Splash from an international independent valuer it had appointed.

“In a latest development, the Energy, Green Technology and Water ministry, in a letter dated March 14, instructed that all parties must extend the estimation of figures involved in the master agreement of the water industry restructuring exercise to six months, which is until Oct 5, 2017.

“(So) this is clear that the delay in the taking over of Splash is not the fault of the Selangor state government. Rather, the extension came from the Federal government itself to enable its Cabinet to seek the views of an international independent valuer. Until today, the state government has not been officially informed in writing of the stance of the Federal government on the results of the international independent valuer,” Azmin told the house.

He was replying to a question from Rajiv Rishyakaran (DAP-Bukit Gasing) who had asked on the status of the Splash takeover.

Azmin also added that they have rejected the ministry’s March 6 suggestion for the Selangor state government to bear part of the cost to takeover Splash.

The ministry, said Azmin, would bear 60 per cent of the cost while the Selangor state government will pay 40 per cent.

“We strongly objected to this because the ministry’s decision on the ratio is premature as we have yet to receive an official stance from the Federal government.

“We have replied the ministry on March 17, stating that we do not agree with the 60:40 suggestion. Earlier, I have also told this to the minister, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, in a meeting on Sept 27, 2016.

“The takeover of Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd was 100 per cent paid by Pengurusan Aset Air Sdn Bhd. So why is it there a different method for Splash?

“I have told the minister that the same method must be consistently used to bear the cost of the Splash takeover. I invite the Federal government to use the same method as had been done on the three other water concessionaires as stated in the master agreement.

“Whatever method must be agreed mutually and it must not burden the people and consumers in Selangor. We have the moral responsibility to ensure that the cost of the takeover would not impact the people,” he said.