Offer letters to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding (Splash) were sent this afternoon.
Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the move was necessary as the government should be allowed to manage the water resources.
“This takeover will have an important impact on the lives of the people. Residents will continue to receive 20 cubic metres of free water and will not be trapped with increasing water tariffs that are unjust and burdensome.
“The people will also experience management of the water industry that is transparent and efficient; most importantly, this takeover will end the era of water industry monopoly by any individual or company,” Khalid added.
This is Selangor’s highest bid – to be undertaken by state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) – thus far. Previous offers had amounted to RM5.7 billion in 2009 and RM9.2 billion in 2011.
A key opponent is Puncak Niaga and its subsidiary Syabas. Puncak Niaga is widely believed to be influenced by Umno.
Khalid said the private water companies had failed to provide an acceptable level of service to consumers.
He expressed hope that Puncak Niaga’s boss, Rozali Ismail – who is also former Selangor Umno treasurer – would not interfere in the latest offering.
Khalid added that KDEB intends to absorb all of the four companies’ liabilities.