Monday, February 4, 2013

Syabas Bailout

Prime Minister Najib Razak is being very generous again. This time he is making an extra allocation of RM120 million to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), purportedly to resolve water woes but actually it is nothing but a well-disguised scheme to bail out the crony company. It just goes to prove that the Selangor water crisis is caused by Syabas’ failure to upgrade its infrastructure – and that it has nothing to do with raw water shortage, which the federal government has obstinately insisted, can be best prevented through the construction of the multi-billion ringgit Langat 2 treatment plant to transfer raw water from Pahang to Selangor.

I am of the opinion that the crisis was due to the deliberate under-investment by Syabas to upgrade its treatment plants, build additional treated water capacity, as well as repair and replace old and broken pipes. This company has shirked its responsibilities.

So why must the government rescue Syabas? In December 2009, the federal government had extended a 20-year RM320.8 million zero-interest soft loan to Syabas and this was followed by another 20-year RM110 million loan to Syabas for the same purpose in October 2011. A month after that, when Syabas’ outstanding bonds of RM2.9 billion was approaching its due date for repayment, the government again bailed out Syabas by taking over the entire RM2.9 billion bond. In case, the BN fellas don’t know how to add, the federal government had thus disbursed a grand total of RM3.41 billion to Syabas since 2009!

It is therefore very clear that BN and Syabas, are playing politics at the expense of the citizens of Selangor. They will not be able to do this any longer once PR takes over Putrajaya. So people, you know which box to tick, right?

This evening, I delivered a CC speech #3 at the Puchong English Toastmasters Club. I was privileged to have Stella Steven to be my evaluator. I was also an Evaluator for Eleanor George (T-Systems Cyberjaya Toastmasters Club) who did an interesting Advanced speech titled "An Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert". Overall, it was an engaging session today and I am happy to give this meeting a score of a 7 out of a 10.

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