Perak MB reiterates can’t supply water to Penang since insufficient for internal use

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

IPOH, December 1 — Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the state government still can’t supply raw water to Penang even after a coalition government was formed between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) post the 15th general election.

Saarani said that the issue was never about which party was leading the state, but about the capacity of the raw water from the rivers.

“It’s not about a BN or PH government, it’s a matter of whether the raw water in the state is sufficient for internal use or not.

“If we have a surplus of raw water, then we have no problem supplying outside of Perak,” he told a press conference after visiting the centralised labour quarters pilot project at Asrama Murni Persiaran Jelapang here.

Saarani said any government no matter PH or BN will need to face the fact that the raw water supply in Perak is only sufficient for internal use.

“On top of that we are going to develop Perak as an industrial state, which will require more water. We are going to open up more companies, and companies involving rubber require more water.

“We have also spotted water shortages in companies located in Kamunting. We don’t want a problem where we supply water to others and we suffer the shortage,” he explained.

Saarani also said that this is why the state stands firm in the decision to not supply raw water to other states.

In March, the Perak government decided that the state’s water sourced from Sungai Perak is to be used only for its people.

Saarani, who was also the mentri besar back then, had said that the state can’t fulfil the request made by the Penang government to supply it with raw water from Sungai Perak.

He reiterated that Perak is sympathetic to Penang’s problem, but has solid reasons for rejecting its neighbour’s request and cited reports and comments made by four key agencies: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Perak Water Board (LAP), Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS) and the Perak State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).

Saarani also pointed out that the Housing and Population Census Data 2020 shows Perak has a population of 2.5 million people in 2020 and is projected to increase to 3 million people by 2050.