Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Memorandum from the Selangor State Government to the King

Below, is the full text of the Selangor government's memorandum to the King.

From: The people and the Selangor state government


Duli Yang Maha Mulia
Tuanku Al-Wathiqu Billah Al-Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al Muktafi Billah Shah
Yang Dipertuan Agong, Malaysia

Dengan nama Allah s.w.t., Tuhan Yang Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang.

Selawat dan salam buat junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., pesuruh Allah s.w.t. yang sangat mencintai dan menggesa umatnya berlaku adil.

Assalamu'alaikum w.b.t.
Ampun Tuanku beribu ampun, sembah rakyat harap diampun.

i. With the knowledge that basic human living is dependent upon access to clean and affordable water,

ii. With the realisation that people's expanding costs of living are steadily increasing in comparison with their incomes,

iii. With a firm opposition to misappropriation, abuse and mismanagement of power,

iv. With a commitment towards building a leadership that is transparent, responsible, efficient and respectful of the spirit and practice of Federalism;

We, the people and the Selangor state government, hereby gather together seeking the humble permission of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku to deliver our concerns towards the issue of restructuring of the water services industry in Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Ampun Tuanku beribu ampun, sembah rakyat harap diampun.

1) Return the rights of water to the people

We, on behalf of 150,000 people of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, plead that justice is given to us by correcting the past mistakes of water privatisation, resulting in poor quality of water and water services, and with water tariff increases at unreasonable rates.

We hereby seek clean and good quality of water and water services at reasonable and affordable prices, taking into consideration the poor and low-income groups of Selangor. We call upon Tuanku to return the rights of water to the people.

2) Uphold the Water Services Industry Act 2006

We humbly request for Tuanku to uphold the spirit and aim of the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) 2006, that is to restructure the water services industry into one that is holistic and managed by the Selangor state government.

The WSIA 2006 was originally enacted for the purpose of reversing the errors made in privatising the water industry. We call upon Tuanku to remind the federal government of this.

3) Empower the people

The concession agreement signed in 2004 between Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), the federal dovernment and the Selangor State Government contains a number of ambiguities that show SYABAS is not concerned with the people's welfare, namely the water tariff increases at alarmingly high rates (37% in 2009, and 25%, 20%, 10% and 5% in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2021).

The agreement should have been discussed with the people originally as it affects them primarily. We call upon Tuanku to empower the people by ensuring that any new agreement must be discussed with the people before it is finalised.

4) Restore state government's powers

Water services falls under the 'Concurrent List' in the Federal Constitution 1957, giving both the federal government and state government shared jurisdiction over the matter.

We urge the federal government to uphold the spirit of federalism and the powers of the state in the issue of water services, instead of using coercion tactics against the Selangor government. We call upon Tuanku to restore the state government's powers.

5) End cronyism

It is the perception of the people that the federal government sides with the private sector, in this case a particular company, which is equivalent to cronyism.

It is evident that to ensure concessionaires' profitability, they were allowed high tariff rates and more than adequate federal government guarantees to loans that the rakyat has to ultimately pay for.

The rakyat has to now pay high water rates, and Malaysian taxpayers are forced to underwrite the risk of Syabas' business. We call upon Tuanku to remind the federal government of their promise to end cronyism.

With the mandate that is given by the people, the Selangor state government is committed to ensure their interests are protected. The Selangor state government ensures that the water services industry will be managed in the best manner possible for the benefit of the people through its taking over of the water services industry.

Thus the Selangor state government together with the people have placed their hopes in supporting this important motion.

It is the people's hope that this issue will be given serious attention by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku. The people thank Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku for the attention that has been given.

Thank You
Daulat Tuanku
Dec 5, 2010

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