Monday, June 17, 2013

Penang should pay for water from Kedah: Mukhriz - The Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR (June 17, 2013): Kedah is entitled to compensation from Penang for drawing raw water from Sungai Muda because the former is the source of the water, Kedah Mentri Besar, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, said today.

He said that in the 1970s, the border between Kedah and Penang was moved to the centre of the river causing one side of the river to become part of Penang.

He said Penang had asked Kedah for water when its supplies dwindled due to a drought in the past.

"When Penang's water supplies were dwindling then, the Penang state government had to ask Kedah to release water from their dams so that Penang could get water."

He said it was clear that the water catchment area for the Sungai Muda was in Kedah.

"A few months ago, the Penang Water Authority wrote to the Kedah government to ensure logging activities did not negatively impact their water supply. This is recognition from the state that the water catchment area is in Kedah," he said.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had stated that the Sungai Muda runs through Penang and is therefore a natural resource for use by the state.

He had added that Kedah's proposal to ask for payment for the raw water was akin to "asking money for nothing".

Lim had also stated that the river was not a man-made project like the Johor-Malacca water transfer scheme where the former could charge the latter for raw water.

Mukhriz said he would continue negotiations with the Penang government on the matter and did not wish to politicise the issue.

Met at Trax Associates CEO Datin Yasmin Merican's book launch near here today, he also talked about the level of investment coming into Kedah.

"Whilst there are people expressing interest in Kedah, these are not yet realised investments. They are probably happy that the state has a chief minister who can speak Japanese," he said.
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