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Water is back! Syabas to the workers!

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We are grateful to all those workers who have been slaving night and day to restore water supply. Their dedication to their duty and their determination to bring cheer to Penangites by working so diligently to resolve this water crisis that has affected 590,000 consumers must be applauded and praised!

Four days ago, on 8 January, I raised the question “Water disruption: Is it a question of no maintenance or lack of allocation for maintenance?

The next day, a news report answered the question: There was no maintenance and there were no funds. This revelation was shocking!

This is a strange admission. For 50 years, there was no means to undertake maintenance! There was no mention of it by the Penang state government. This is inexplicable.

According to the CEO of the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP), K Pathmanathan, “Recently, PBAPP’s new directors approved RM180m for replacement works alone.”

This is a huge sum. Where did the money come from? Surely not from the company! If it had that kind of money, surely the repairs and maintenance could have been undertaken much earlier. There would be no excuse for not doing so.

Why was the lack of funds not made public? Aren’t we entitled to some sort of allocation from the federal government for development purposes? Penang contributes a huge sum to federal government coffers. Shouldn’t that entitle us to some allocation when it is desperately needed?

Worst comes to worst, couldn’t the Penang government have applied for a loan from the federal government citing the urgent need to replace the 50-year-old pipes? We need some explanation and clarification – and urgently too!

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If the successive three Penang state governments had not sought federal assistance, all had not acted responsibly. That is for sure.

There was another shocker. It was announced that a scheduled water supply interruption for four days would start at 6am on Wednesday. I set my alarm to get up at 5am, hoping to have a good shower before the water was cut off at 6am. To my horror, I found there was no water at 5am! Later I found out that according to my friend in Island Park, there was no water at his place at 1:30am. Another friend in Island Glades informed me that he had no water at 2am.

It would appear that various places experienced this water disruption at different times. It would have put homemakers, who would have got up before 6am to attend to last-minute household chores, in a quandary. Why couldn’t they stick to the announced schedule? This needs an explanation!

Everything said, there is reason to be grateful. We are grateful to all those workers who have been slaving night and day to restore water supply to Penangites.

Their dedication to their duty and their determination to bring cheer to Penangites by working so diligently to resolve this water crisis that has affected 590,000 consumers must be applauded and praised.

They are giving us their best to supply water ahead of the schedule – we are grateful. And they have succeeded!

Let’s hope and pray we need not go through this harrowing experience ever again. That will depend on the efficiency of the PBAPP.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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13 Jan 2024 2.37pm

Bro, credit and applause to the field workers. No doubt they have been cleaning up management mess. The management or BOD on the other hand, heads MUST roll. As of 13th Jan noon, there are area in SWD or DBD taps are still dry. You have asked the right question, so what exactly they have been doing all these years? No maintenance is shockingly unacceptable while no fund shouldn’t be an excuse not to maintain the pipes. Water is an essential needs and looks like we have a serious negligence issue by PBA management. SWD rakyat pays their taxes and bills too but being treated like animal as if they don’t need to go to work/school nor cleanse themselves. PBA don’t even want to upgrade the water system in these area when we asked them to do so.

Angeline Loh
Angeline Loh
12 Jan 2024 1.56pm

Thank you Mr. Rama for being the first to applaud those who actually did the work to make life easier and more comfortable for all in Penang. No doubt, people are grateful to PBAPP and the Penang government but seldom show appreciation to those on the ground who actually did the job. Without workers, regardless of nationality, nothing can be achieved. No business could successfully run, no service could be given to the public. This goes for all institutions public and private. Congratulations to the workers! You have done a good job of which you should be proud and hopefully the public will remember you for. At last, change is happening, our aspirations since 2008. Syabas to all who made it happen.

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