Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Shaziman Admits Bailout Intent

The Minister for Energy, Water & Communications has confirmed that not only will the Federal Government acquire the assets from the privatised companies at a higher price than what is offered by the Selangor Government, they will also be likely over the RM6.4 billion debt of these companies!

In an interview with Berita Harian two days ago, he said that:
...Syarikat konsesi juga ada pinjaman daripada bon dan sebagainya, dan jika mereka tidak mampu bayar pinjaman atau bon, ia akan beri kesan kepada syarikat serta menjejaskan imej industri pada masa akan datang.
I had wanted to raise the above point during the debate in Parliament today when the Minister was responding to the Selangor Water Restructuring issue. But he cut short his overall response (despite having plenty of time to spare) and refused to allow me to ask a single question. My colleagues, Charles Santiago (Klang) and Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad (Kuala Selangor) did manage to ask 1 question each where the Minister responded with evasive answers. But that was about it.

These privatised water companies in Selangor, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) etc., have obviously mismanaged themselves to a state whereby they are unable to repay the excessive amount of bonds which they have sold to the market.

Now they hold the state and government to ransom, by saying that water service quality will deteriorate if the Governments do not bail them out to the tune of billions, while at the same time, compensating them for future "loss of profits"!

And all the Minister wants to do? Protect the "image of the industry"!  At the same time, he tells us not to "politicise" the water issue so that they can bailout their UMNO cronies in peace.  He wish!
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