Malaysia: Johor villagers complain scheduled water cut three days early


KOTA TINGGI: Villagers at Felda Lok Heng here are disappointed that the water supply to their area was cut three days earlier than the date announced by the state water concessionaire.

The settlement, which has more than 18,000 consumers, was among many areas in Kota Tinggi and Mersing affected by cuts on 85,000 domestic and industrial consumers.

Water concessionaire SAJ Holdings had announced that the areas would undergo scheduled rationing for 28 days from April 18 to May 15.

Housewife Zalimah Bujang (pic), 53, claimed the supply stopped on Friday.

Housewife Zalimah Bujang said that she only received the water rationing notice on April 16 but the water supply had stopped a day before (April 15).Pic by ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG/The Star.

“Why did they cut it three days early and not give us a chance to store some water first?

“They should have let the water flow on Sunday so that we could prepare,” she said at her house yesterday.

Her neighbour Misah Saat, 67, who has lived in the settlement for 32 years, hoped the cut would not go on till the Muslim fasting month which was expected in June.

Housewife Suparti Mohamed, 55, said that although the cut began on Friday, she claimed the water tankers from SAJ Holdings only came in yesterday.

“We had to buy bottles of mineral water and make do with the water from the lorries,” she said.

She said the state government had said earlier that no rationing was needed in Johor.

“So why are we now told that there are cuts between April 18 and May 15?” she said.

Foodstall operator Sally Dahar, 53, said she was using a portable tank which provided her with water for three days.

“My business is not affected. But I hope the cut will not last until the fasting month,” she added.

SAJ Holdings corporate communications chief Jamaluddin Jamal said the cut was due to operational issues.

He said that during the rationing exercise, water would flow for one day, followed by two days of dry taps, and the cycle repeated.

“The exercise is necessary after levels at the four water treatment plants in the two districts became critical,” he said.

The plants are in Lok Heng and Sungai Gembut in Kota Tinggi, and Sungai Mersing and Tenglu in Mersing.

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