Gerakan faults Pakatan chief ministers for poor piping replacement plans over past 15 years, leading to four-day water cut 

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 9 — Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong today blamed incumbent Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and his predecessor Lim Guan Eng for failing to implement a long-term plan to replace the state’s ageing water infrastructure years ago.

The Opposition politician said both Chow and Lim are from the same party that has been in control of the state and the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) for 15 years and should have taken action for regular maintenance and upgrade of the water pipes.

“Have both chief ministers from DAP been sleeping in these 15 years?” he asked in a news conference a day before a scheduled water disruption that will affect 85 per cent of Penang for an estimated four days, including its factories.

“Regardless of when the state was under the leadership of Lim Guan Eng previously and under Chow Kon Yeow currently, both have failed to to be more sensitive in addressing issues of old pipes and only realised this after 15 years,” Oh added.

He then referred to a petition signed by 19 Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblymen and MPs in Penang yesterday demanding that Chow and the state leadership take stern action to ensure that the PBAPP management fulfils its responsibilities over the scheduled water disruption.

“The PH assemblymen and MPs are trying to avoid responsibility for the scheduled water disruption that starts tomorrow,” he said.

He said PBAPP is a government-linked corporation and its board of directors consisted of five state executive councillors and three assemblymen.

“Chow is PBAPP chairman while Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohamad Abdul Hamid, Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh Deo, state exco Zairil Khir Johari, state exco Rashidi Zinol and state assemblymen Gooi Hsiao Leung, Tan Hooi Peng and Teh Lai Heng are PBAPP non-executive directors,” he said.

He said all of the non-executive directors should be responsible for water supply issues and this included the unity government assemblymen.

He said all of them were also paid monthly allowances which amounted to tens of thousands annually.

“What is most shocking is that Teh and Tan were among the 19 who signed the petition. Are they admitting that they failed in their responsibilities as PBAPP non-executive directors? Or did they attend PBAPP meetings daily on the issue of water supply disruption?” he asked.

He said the petition by the 19 MPs and assemblymen not only appears to suggest they want Chow’s resignation, but also shows up the state government’s incompetence.

“All of them are PH representatives under the unity government. PBAPP is a GLC under the government, so it should be the state government that’s responsible for this, not only PBAPP,” he said.

Oh then took a swipe at Lim for previously blaming the PAS-led Kedah government for Penang’s past water crisis.

He said Lim should not practise double standards.

The scheduled water supply disruption will start tomorrow and will extend to January 14 depending on areas.

The scheduled water supply disruption was due to the shutdown of the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant to replace two major leaking valves and 22 other repair and maintenance works all around the state.

The scheduled water supply disruption will affect 590,000 consumers or 85 per cent of the state.



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