Sunday, December 5, 2010

Selangor Water Issue : A Class Act or Crass Act?

The dam at Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor

“PEOPLE kill each other over diamonds; countries go to war over oil. But the world’s most expensive commodities are worth nothing in the absence of water...”

This is the stark truth, which will not even spare us should water woes be sidelined and seen as something not significant enough to merit full and immediate attention.

Seemingly to have boiled over or painted to be as such, today’s crass act by the supporters of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat over the Selangor water issue is not one that should be ignored by Putrajaya or anyone else.

This issue, which has been long outstanding over the years, has even got the full attention of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who called for immediate action to resolve the crisis.

In attempting to resolve this matter, the Pakatan-led Selangor government should back down from its adamant stand in not allowing for the construction of the RM8.65bil Langat 2 water treatment plant, while hiding behind the excuse that there was no need to rush the project as the state had enough water to cater for demands right up to 2019.

However, to act immediately it must as the need for the continuous supply of this most important commodity is clear and present.

The state government’s stance in wanting to give priority to the restructuring of the water services industry in Selangor (read: tussle with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor, Syabas) had caused a deadlock since 2009.

As for the Sultan, who rightly placed himself above all politics, the plight and welfare of his people is paramount to merit his wrath over the issue.

Sultan Sharafuddin called on all parties to put the interest of the people and the state first as he sees Selangor’s water problem can drive away investors and cause thousands of his subjects to lose their jobs.

Looking at things from a macro point of view, whichever party who wisely gives way to resolve this deadlock, will surely be smothered with undying allegiance and loving kisses from the people affected.

Take heed, for this is about the best in class act as opposed to the long-running crass act we see before us.

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