Malaysia: Act on water shortage woes, Johor urged

The Star 16 May 16;

JOHOR BARU: Johor’s water shortage is worrying and business associations have called on the state government to address immediately to ensure plans to make Iskandar Malaysia a long-term investment destination are not derailed.

“It will definitely put off the investors if their businesses or operations are constantly affected by water shortage,” Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said.

Such disruption, he said, could drive them to look for other options.

Last year’s water rationing in parts of the state, which lasted for about four months, greatly affected businesses such as food and beverage outlets, hair salons, car wash operators and laundry shops, he said.

“They were faced with big losses and there was no compensation at all – and it was not the first time such scheduled water supply exercise took place,” he said.

By end of this month, about 885,000 people in Johor Baru, Pasir Gudang, Kota Tinggi and Mersing will have to face scheduled water rationing if the water levels do not improve at the Congok and Layang dams.

Currently, some 85,000 consumers in the Mersing and Kota Tinggi districts have been experiencing water rationing for the past month.

Sivakumar said the state government should conduct an in-depth study and find out whether the water shortage was caused by the vast developments in the state or that the oil palm estates were using too much water from rivers.

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