Malaysia: Najib approves Johor's RM100mil water transfer project

NELSON BENJAMIN and YEE XIANG YUN The Star 6 Mar 16;

JOHOR BARU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak approved Johor's request for RM100mil to fund a water transfer project to solve the water shortage in some parts of the state.

He said the project was needed to transfer raw water to dams to address the water shortage, which affects about 450,000 residents who depend on scheduled water supply for clean water.

"The state can go ahead and start funding the project immediately. We will deduct it from the state's debt with the federal government," Najib said in his speech when launching the Johor Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) here on Sunday.

Earlier, Mentri Besar, Datuk Khaled Nordin had requested for the project to be implemented.


Fed Govt Approves Water Transfer From PAMER To Sungai Layang Dam
Bernama 6 Mar 16;

JOHOR BAHARU, March 6 (Bernama) -- The federal government has approved the implementation of a water transfer project from the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development Raw Water Supply Project (PAMER) to the Sungai Layang Dam here, with the Johor government spending first the requirement of RM100 million.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the amount spent would subsequently be deducted from the debt of the state government to the federal government.

"The project will overcome the problem of water rationing which is expected to become more critical in the future," he told reporters after opening the Johor Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) at Galleria@Kotaraya, here, Sunday.

Najib said, with the very prolific development in the city of Johor Baharu and Iskandar Malaysia, a boost in basic utility like water supply in the area, was much needed via the implementation of the water transfer project.

On the hope that the federal government will speed up approval for the implementation of a Rapid Transit Bus (BRT) service for the city of Johor Baharu, the Prime Minister, who is also Finance Minister, said the government must scrutinise the project first. "We (federal government) have to look at it first because there is a rather large deficit in terms of collection and expenditure," he said.

Earlier, when speaking during the opening of the Johor UTC, Mohamed Khaled urged the federal government to consider the water transfer project or allow the Johor state government to pay first with the assurance the federal government would repay the state government or deduct the state government debt with the federal government.

According to Mohamed Khaled, the state government must implement the RM100.6 million water transfer project for a long term solution so that 485,000 consumers need not have to endure water rationing.

With Iskandar Malaysia, specifically Johor Baharu, undergoing much changes and becoming an increasingly congested metropolitan, Mohamed Khaled hoped the federal government could speed up the approval of the BRT project as part of the long term solution for public transportation in Johor Baharu.

-- BERNAMA

RM100mil allocated for water transfer project
The Star 7 Mar 16;

JOHOR BARU: The Federal Government has approved a RM100mil allocation to Johor for a water transfer project to channel raw water to the Sungai Layang dam in Pasir Gudang here.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, said the state government would fund the project and the amount would be offset against the RM300mil that the state owed the Federal Government. Under the project, the state government hopes to build pipes from the Air Mentah Rapid (Pamer) project to the Sungai Layang dam.

The Pamer project involves a 77km pipeline from Sungai Seluyut in Kota Tinggi to Pengerang for the oil and gas needs in the area. However, as the project is not fully operational in Pengerang, the state hopes to build additional pipelines to divert the water to the Sungai Layang dam.

More than 450,000 consumers are affected by water shortage every year, especially during the dry spells, and scheduled water supply had to be carried out. Last year, the water crisis went on for four months.

On the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project to improve public transportation in Johor Baru, Najib said the Government needed more time to study the matter as it involved huge subsidies.

“At the moment, we are having quite a big budget deficit,” he said.

Najib also said the Government would continue to expand the Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) as more than 27.4 million transactions nationwide have been conducted since the project started in 2012.

There are now 10 UTCs nationwide. The next locations will be in Kelantan, Sibu, Miri, Perlis and Negri Sembilan.

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