Water is a basic necessity for mankind and one wonders why the BN government colluded with the previous Selangor government to piratise the water distribution companies that are now burdened with debt and cannot even operate without soft loans guaranteed by the MoF.
In the good old days, water was a relatively simple operation. We build reservoirs or pump water from rivers and the CEO of the Selangor Water Board would have drawn perhaps RM15,000 per month plus other allowances.
Fastforward to 2010 and we discover that the CEO of SYABAS draws a monthly salary of RM425k per month. The figure looks unbelievable.....RM425k per month for ensuring that our copious rainwater is properly pumped through the pipes?
Even the Sultan of Selangor is urging the state and federal governments to work out their differences. I wonder what he thought of the truly fabulous deal the CEO had wrangled for himself.
So the people protested in KL and were subjected to the usual treatment of tear gas and water cannon and you can read the response of malaysiakini readers here.
To me the stance taken by Selangor is correct. Water should be controlled by the state with the Federal government playing a coordinating role only.
Even in Johor, the state also went into piratisation mode when the state's water resources were sold to a public company just 3 years after the IPO where they pledged they wanted water consumers to own part of the company. It was followed by the mandatory takeover of all shareholders. And Johor's water is about the most expensive in Malaysia.
I guess they want to recoup some of the losses from Malaysians after selling the water cheaply to Singapore.