Keratan Akhbar
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BAGAN DATUK: Malaysia can resolve its water shortage issue by turning to underground water as a new source of supply, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. While the initial capital to start an underground water programme may be sizeable, the cost to maintain it is lower. “Underground water is easy to manage as it does not rely on seasons especially dry or hot seasons. “There is a state which has its own water source but it is not managed properly by its leaders,” Zahid said, without naming the state, although it was assumed that he was referring to Selangor, which is facing water shortage.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the hand over of the underground water project here to Perak Water Department (LAP) at Sekolah Menengah Sains Bagan Datuk today. Also present were Perak public utilities, infrastructure, energy and water committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) director-general Datuk Shahar Effendi Abdullah Azizi and LAP general manager Datuk Mohd Yusof Mohd Isa. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya.

Zahid was speaking at the hand over of the underground water project here to Perak Water Department (LAP) at Sekolah Menengah Sains Bagan Datuk today. Also present were Perak public utilities, infrastructure, energy and water committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) director-general Datuk Shahar Effendi Abdullah Azizi and LAP general manager Datuk Mohd Yusof Mohd Isa. Zahid said a holistic approach must be immediately taken by all state water authorities along with JMG to continue look for water source at certain locations, even if the source is 100 metres deep underneath. “I hope that the states that have taken over the local water management will decide on whether to let a private company or their own water department handle it.” He added that the government could not afford to compromise on the lack of water supply for the public and industries. “How can a tropical seasoned country scarcely has water? This happens because of poor management,” he said, adding that particular state must not point finger at others. “I would like to call the state to rethink its action of accusing other parties especially the federal government (for the water woe in the state) because it is its decision to take over the concession. He reminded all quarters not to policitise the water issue because “it is the people’s right to have water”.

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