Monday, 18 February 2013

Do we or do we not have water?

SYABAS – and the systematic water torture.

Stan CH Lee   -

"Under Syabas, Malaysians are paying more and more for water that is not even fit to drink .We have been living with murky, tea colored water for years, forcing us to spend thousands on home water filters. Imagine, just to get clean water to drink. This alone is the clearest sign that the water concessionare is not doing its job.

Like all BN privatisation projects, this is a lopsided contract favouring cronies over the people's welfare. When the CEO is paid a whopping RM425,000 a month basic pay, in a loss making concern, you would think he should be more than satisfied with his pay. But no, he still needs to make even more money by buying pipes from his own company inIndonesia - in clear breach of the terms of the privatisation contract. I for one do not understand why a contract cannot be nullified if terms are breached.

And now there is the ongoing water crisis in Selangor.

Looming large in the background is the BN backed Langat 2 project -ostensibly conceived  to alleviate future water shortage by getting water from Pahang. The catch is, you need to cut through the Main Range to bring the water over, resulting in a mega billion ringgit bill. To be paid by - you guessed it - increasing the water tariff on a monopolised water supply.This has been in the pipeline for a while now since BN days and waiting to be fast tracked for negotiated tender and award - no doubt to another BN crony with absolutely no track record but plenty of cables.

But there is a stumbling block.Water is under state jurisdiction – and the Selangor State Government, now under PR, has an alternative source of water from Perak that will cost only a fraction of what Langat 2 is projected to cost. This will go a long way to help people mitigate the rising costs of living. So there is a stalemate. BN wants to spend Billions on Langat 2. PR does not.

That is why, with GE13 coming up and the strong possibility of the Federal Government falling to PR there is a sense of panic and urgency in the air - and the PM has already declared that he wants Selangor back in BN hands by hook or by crook!

In a totally irresponsible, malicious and possibly life threatening move, the Federal Government , through SYABAS is using water to hold the people to ransom by manufacturing a water shortage complete with a TV advertisement showing people queueing up for water to highlight the “incompetency” of the Selangor Government, thinking that the people will get upset with the Selangor Government and bring back BN who will then “magically”turn on the taps.

But the weather has been kind and it has been raining throughout this period and the dams are full to overflowing, so the story about water shortage simply does not - well, hold water. In spite of this very obviously wet season, the Federal Government expects the people of Selangor to believe there is a shortage nevertheless, that is slated to last through to the Chinese New Year.

As the affected people of Selangor do their daily water runs just remember the water trucks are there not to help you. They are there to help the BN win votes."

Stan CH Lee - Malaysian at heart. Now freezing my butt off in Toronto.Until early January 2013, I communicate and express myself mainly through drawings and pictures, not much different from the caveman of yore when I was a firm believer in the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”.I used to be a storyboard artist, cartoonist, airbrush artist, 3D animator and perspective artist and still cannot resist the urge to doodle and squiggle. But I wanted to put a finger (2 fingers?) on the collective pulse of the nation and share my thoughts with all and sundry. 
Then I discovered, some things are better said in words.

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