This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Perak passes new Water Resources Enactment

Perak passes new Water Resources Enactment

The new Perak Water Resources Enactment 2023 was passed at the state assembly today. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Sep 27 — The new Perak Water Resources Enactment 2023 was passed at the state assembly today.

A total of 30 government assemblymen voted in favour of the enactment, while two assemblymen namely Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Kepayang) and Datuk Mohd Zolkafly Harun (Umno-Lintang) did not vote.

Nga, who is local government development minister, is currently away on official business, while Mohd Zolkafly is hospitalised.

The enactment replaces the Water Enactment passed before Independence.

Earlier, the State Infrastructure, Energy, Water and Public Transport Committee chairman, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, read the enactment, which had been debated by 22 assemblymen since Monday.

In his winding-up speech, Mohammad Nizar said that the latest enactment covered three main issues: the governance of the Perak water resources management board; control of water resources use and licensing; and water resources pollution control and enforcement.

On the governance of the Perak water resources management board, he said the board will consist of 12 members including chairman, deputy chairman, six ex-officio members and three experts on water resources.

“The subclause 20 (1) of the Bill allows any person who is deemed qualified and comparable to the expertise of a civil servant to be appointed to a position on the board of directors,” he said.

For the control of water resources use and licensing, Mohammad Nizar said it covered the imposition of charges, water and electricity tariff increases, the return of benefits to the people, as well as the importance of water resource control and protection.

He added that subclause 44 (8) under the enactment also set a high penalty for the offence of water source pollution where the perpetrator can be fined no more than RM1 million or imprisoned for no more than 10 years.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Razman Zakaria told a press conference that they wanted the enactment to be postponed, which was also voiced by several Opposition assemblymen during the three days state assembly sitting, to ensure accountability and continuity of governance.

“We urge that the state government include the menteri besar as a chairman for the board, as well as six experts from the relevant agencies as members, as stipulated under Section 6(1) of the enactment.

“For the purpose of ensuring food security, the Opposition also urges that an exemption provision be included in the irrigation sector for rice cultivation as implemented in Kedah and Terengganu in accordance with the Irrigation Areas 1953.

“Based on this, the Opposition insists that this enactment should be postponed,” he said.

However, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said that the Opposition’s proposal to postpone the Bill should not have arisen again as all the issues mentioned previously had been fine-tuned and improved through the amendments made.

“The Bill was first tabled on July 18 last year but was postponed after the assemblymen’s feedback was examined at the time.

“It has already been a year and we can’t postpone it any longer as other states have implemented this new enactment and we are the only state to rely on an enactment that was passed pre-Independence,” he said.

Saarani said that the enactment needs to be approved since there is no specialised water management body.

“This had caused the regulation of the use of state water resources to be left unoptimised, especially from the aspects of licensing and enforcement,” he added.