ALOR SETAR, Dec 24 — The Penang government should have held talks with Kedah first, instead of flatly refusing to pay the Kedah government for raw water drawn from its side of Sungai Muda,
Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said to be headstrong and close-minded in dealing with the issue would not bring any good to both parties.
“We have to be open and willing to negotiate. And if the Penang government is still adamant to not want to negotiate, I request that the federal government be a facilitator,” he told reporters after the back-to-school donation programme, here today.
He was commenting on a statement by Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy today that the state government was consistent with its stand to not pay a single sen to Kedah for drawing water from Sungai Muda.
Ramasamy said there would be no negotiation or discussion with Kedah government if the Penang’s right for water is not respected.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Sanusi said Kedah’s claim for payment of raw water from the Penang government was with basis based on the Water Services Industry Act 2006.
“It is stated in the law that any quarters that draw water from any source should pay for it. Like in Kedah, payment has to be made to Lembaga Sumber Air Negeri Kedah,” he said.
It was reported that the Kedah government had written several times to the Penang government claiming RM50 million annual payment for the raw water supplied to Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang.