Sinar Harian, 11 April 2019
KUALA LUMPUR - Sebuah pertubuhan bukan kerajaan, Forum Air Malaysia meminta supaya kerajaan mengambil kira nasib golongan B40 sekiranya berhasrat untuk menaikkan tarif air di negara ini. Presidennya, Saral James Maniam berkata, pihaknya bersetuju supaya kenaikan tarif air dibuat pada ketika ini kerana terdapat laporan syarikat konsesi air berdepan dengan defisit apabila kos operasi lebih tinggi daripada pendapatan. "Kita ada mendapat maklumat terdapat operator yang tidak mampu untuk membayar bil elektrik dan perkara ini sangat serius kerana terdapat kemungkinan mereka tidak dapat memberikan perkhidmatan dengan baik kepada rakyat," katanya kepada Sinar Harian.
Saral berkata, terdapat loji-loji air yang sudah usang dan tidak dinaiktaraf dibimbangi boleh menjejaskan bekalan air sekiranya berlaku kerosakan yang serius. "Bagaimanapun, kita perlu melihat sama ada kenaikan tarif air ini nanti akan berikan kesan atau tidak kepada masyarakat, mungkin kerajaan negeri lain boleh memikirkan kaedah yang dilakukan di Selangor yang memberikan bantuan kepada golongan B40," ujarnya. ARTIKEL BERKAITAN: Enam negeri setuju naik kadar tarif air Semalam, Kementerian Air, Tanah dan Sumber Asli telah mendapat persetujuan daripada enam negeri untuk menaikkan tarif air bagi menjamin kualiti perkhidmatan dan bekalan kepada pengguna. Menurut kementerian, perundingan untuk menaikkan tarif air giat dijalankan kerana kadar berkenaan tidak pernah disemak dalam tempoh 20 tahun.
New Straits Times, 23 March 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The water crisis in Selangor is “unique” and it will take the state five days to recover from the next one, a water expert says. Malaysian Water Association (MWA) president Datuk Abdul Kadir Mohd Din said Selangor’s water crisis was unique compared with other states. “When there is production interruption, a zero or low reserve margin will result in the slow recovery to full supply, as experienced in the stoppage of the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 water treatment plant two weeks ago.” He said, based on the 2017 Malaysia Water Industry Guideline (MWIG), Selangor was the only state where two methods were used to calculate the reserve margin.
“The first is the plant design capacity versus production, which is the standard used in the water industry. Based on this, MWIG depicted negative figures for Selangor as the design capacity is lower than the production quantity. “The second is the plant design capacity versus distributable capacity. This method takes into account storage reserve in the pipeline and overloading water treatment plant. However, this method is not reliable, especially when there are leakages in the distribution pipelines that are difficult to quantify.” He said five days were needed to fill up the depleted reservoirs and resume normal operations.
“Despite having sufficient raw water storage, this does not add to the treated water supply due to limited capacities of water treatment plants,” said Kadir in conjunction with World Water Day yesterday. On Wednesday, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili had cautioned that the people of Selangor would continue to experience water cuts if the state government failed to address issues plaguing its water industry. Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, responding to criticisms of the state’s water industry, argued that the state’s dams had optimum water levels.
His retort was ridiculed by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang, who urged Azmin to understand the difference between raw water supply in dams and treated water. Malaysian Water Forum (FAM) president Saral James urged the state government to work with the Federal Government to improve its water industry. “There are many shortcomings in the Selangor government’s water management system. It needs to work with the Federal Government. “It is only by working with others that you can see where your weaknesses are.” James said Selangor’s reported water reserve margin of between zero and five per cent was “definitely low”, given that other states had an average reserve of between 20 and 30 per cent, which was a big gap.
“Although the problems lie not only within the Selangor government, it is puzzling as to why these problems (Selangor’s water issues) keep cropping up. She said Selangor needed to undertake the migration of its water industry seriously. “We are moving towards becoming a developed country. We cannot rely on old technologies. “This is a shared responsibility. The Selangor government should take charge when it comes to improving the state’s water infrastructure and management.” Earlier, at an event held in conjunction with World Water Day yesterday, James urged water players to boost operations for the sake of consumers.
“Access to water as a basic need must be improved. Consumers have the right to the best service.” She said the best example of this was seen in the recent water crisis which plagued Selangor. For almost a week, 2.5 million residents in the Klang Valley were left without water as maintenance work at a water treatment plant was conducted. On March 6, an explosion at the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 Water Treatment Plant left five people injured. The incident also meant that what was a four-day disruption was extended to a week, leaving many consumers in the Klang Valley high and dry. James said the incident had showed that more needed to be done to protect consumer rights. She said the association had received many complaints about water issues.
She said the association’s experience with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) during the recent Selangor water crisis left a lot to be desired. James said FAM had, on Tuesday and Wednesday, submitted a memorandum to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, and water operators on their recommendations to improve the country’s water industry. “We proposed that water operators create a ‘consumer communication plan’ for better communication between consumers and water suppliers. This will allow consumers to be well-informed so that they can take action when water cuts happen.” Present was Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman.
Berita Harian, Khamis, 22 March 2018, 6:56pm
PETALING JAYA: Forum Air Malaysia (FAM) menggesa semua pengusaha air memperbaiki kualiti pengurusan dan perancangan bekalan air untuk pengguna. Perkara itu dinyatakan bersempena sambutan Hari Air Sedunia yang berlangsung hari ini. Presidennya, Saral James, berkata akses kepada air di seluruh negara perlu berterusan, dipercayai dan selamat serta perlu dicapai melalui kerjasama semua pihak berkepentingan. "Kami mahu menekankan bahawa akses kepada air sebagai keperluan asas mesti diperbaiki. Pengguna membayar air supaya mereka mempunyai hak mendapatkan perkhidmatan terbaik.
"Ini juga membabitkan isu air yang berlaku di Selangor baru-baru ini. Jelas terlihat kita perlu melakukan lebih lagi bagi melindungi hak orang awam sebagai pengguna," katanya pada sidang media Hari Air Sedunia, yang diadakan, di sini, hari ini. Turut hadir, Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Malaysia (FOMCA), Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman. Saral berkata, bagi isi rumah di Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Perak dan Johor, kebanyakan sumber air disediakan tidak boleh dipercayai menyebabkan persatuan itu menerima banyak aduan mengenai isu air.
"Melalui masalah isu air di Selangor, kami mendapat aduan walaupun sesetengah isi rumah mendapat akses kepada bekalan air selepas pemotongan air, sesetengah pengguna di kawasan itu masih mengadu mereka mendapat bekalan air rendah. "Kami menyedari pengguna air melalui perjalanan sukar apabila pemotongan air berlaku selama empat hari di Selangor, selain aduan masalah tekanan air rendah selepas mendapat bekalan air," katanya. Katanya, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS) juga gagal menyediakan jadual masa kepada pengguna berhubung bantuan tangki air di kawasan tiada air itu.
"Mereka gagal berkomunikasi dengan orang ramai apabila pemotongan air berlaku dan langkah tidak diambil dengan betul. Ini bermakna pengurusan dan perancangan pengendali air di seluruh negara perlu diperbaiki. "Dalam memorandum, kami mencadangkan semua operator air mewujudkan 'pelan komunikasi pelanggan' untuk komunikasi lebih baik antara pengguna dan pembekal air. "Ini akan membolehkan pengguna mendapat maklumat lebih baik supaya mereka boleh mengambil tindakan sewajarnya apabila pemotongan air berlaku, "katanya. FAM turut mencadangkan agensi Persekutuan dan negeri meletakkan perbezaan mereka dan menumpukan kepada keperluan menyediakan bekalan air boleh dipercayai, selamat serta mampu dimiliki pengguna dengan mengambil pendekatan holistik untuk menyelesaikan isu air.
The Malaysian Insight, 3 Jun 2020 10:59AM
FORUM Air Malaysia has received many complaints on bill hikes based on approximated calculation made by water supply operators. Water bills more than double and some were up to 10 times as high for May as it comprised March and April bill adjustments. In some cases, it was reported that customers who previously received bills around RM20 a month now received bills upwards of RM90 or even exceeding RM100. Furthermore, many consumers in Selangor with monthly income of RM4,001 and above did not realise that they were not eligible for the 20 cubic meters of free water since March 1.
Based on the complaints received, account holders are burdened with this additional water charges. The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) said generally, domestic consumers use more water than usual during the movement control order (MCO) as there are more daily activities at home. Billing issues highlighted extensively through complaints in social media are not only due to bill estimations by Air Selangor but also seen in Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Pahang and Johor. Forum Air Malaysia would like to stress that this issue increases consumers’ desperation to meet their financial obligations during the lockdown as SPAN in a statement said consumers are requested to pay their respective water bills and if they are overcharged, the correction would be recorded in the bill next month.
Based on the method of water bill calculation issued by SPAN for implementation during the movement control order (MCO) to be used by water supply operators, we hope that consumers will gain confidence on the method used and proceed to pay their bills according to their actual water consumption. We encourage all water operators to immediately adopt SPAN guidelines on water bill calculation to rectify the overcharged consumers. Many consumers are already paying the estimated bills fearing water cuts in the event action is taken. We plead with water supply operators to make provisions that enable consumers pay outstanding bill amounts by instalments to lessen the burden of consumers who have either lost their jobs or who did not receive their salary during the MCO.
Apart from the additional water charges, consumers are disputing the minimum charges for the water that they did not consume. Service providers in collaboration with SPAN should have proactively disseminated the water calculation method guidelines to consumers to create awareness. Consumers are reminded to proactively monitor on the water usage and play a part by being water smart. We look to SPAN and all water supply operators for a fast and reasonable solution to ensure that such occurrences does not repeat in future.
New Straits Times, Sunday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:22pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Water Forum (FAM) has urged the Selangor government to work with the federal government to improve its water industry. FAM president Saral James said this is important, given that it affects consumers. “There are many shortfalls in the Selangor government’s water management system. They need to go back to the federal government and work together, not work alone. “It is only by working with others that you can see where your weaknesses are,” she said.
James said Selangor’s reported water reserve margin of between zero to five per cent is “definitely low”, given that other states in Malaysia have an average reserve of between 20 to 30 per cent, which she noted was a big gap. “Although the problems lie not only within the Selangor government, it is puzzling as to why these problems (Selangor’s water issues) keep cropping up. She said Selangor needs to undertake the migration of its water industry seriously.
“We are heading towards becoming a fully-developed country, we can no longer rely on old technology. Both the Selangor and federal governments need to work together to improve the current system. “This is a shared responsibility. The Selangor government should also take charge when it comes to matters concerning improving the state’s water infrastructure and management,” she said. James had earlier spoke at a press conference held in conjunction with World Water Day celebration, today.
At the event, she said urged for all water operators to improve on their management and planning of water supply for the sake of the consumers. “We want to emphasise that access to water as a basic need must be improved. Consumers pay for water so they have the right to get the best service,” she said. James said the best example of this was seen in the recent water crisis which plagued Selangor.
For almost a week, 2.5 million residents in the Klang Valley were left without water as maintenance works in the state’s water treatment plant were conducted. On March 6, an explosion occurred at the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 (SSP3) Water Treatment Plant, which left five people injured. The incident also meant that was initially scheduled to be a four-day delay, was extended to a week, leaving many consumers in the Klang Valley high and dry.
James said the incident has showed that more needs to be done in order to protect the rights of the public. She also noted that the association had received many complaints on water issues. She said the association’s experience with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) during the recent Selangor water crisis left a lot to be desired. “For example, in Selangor’s latest water crisis, we received complaints from households who said that even after receiving water supply, the pressure was still low.
“We made some calls on behalf of the residents, but failed to get satisfactory answers from Syabas. The customer service did not answer calls, we also could not get any schedules for the water tankers. “Syabas failed to communicate well with the public when the water cuts took place and measures were not taken properly. This means the management and planning of water operators across the country needs to be improved,” she said. James said FAM had on March 20 and 21 submitted a memorandum to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, and water operators on their recommendations to improve the country’s water industry.
“In our memorandum, we proposed for all water operators to create a ‘consumer communication plan’ for better communication between consumers and the water suppliers. This will allow consumers to be well-informed so that they can take necessary action when water cuts happen,” she said. Also present at the press conference session was Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman.
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