BUTTERWORTH: The Finance Ministry has decided to go with a Request for Proposal (RFP) open tender on the proposed collaboration between the public and private sectors in the supply of raw water from Perak (Sungai Perak) to Penang.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the proposal was a long-standing one and it deserves attention, considering Penang’s need to have a sustainable water supply for its future.

The RFP will come under the supervision of the Public-Private Partnership Unit and is expected to cost over RM1 billion.

“The Public-Private Partnership project has been a long-standing request from the Penang government to Perak. I believe Perak is willing to listen to our views and suggestions,” said Lim.

“The important thing is that this project must benefit both (states), a definite prerequisite - we want a win-win formula,“ Lim said. He will be meeting with Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu to discuss the proposal.

Currently, Penang’s raw water supply comes mainly from Sungai Muda in Kedah. But previous logging activities in the main water catchment area of the northern region in Ulu Muda, Kedah has threatened the water supply.

Hence, the Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme, which was proposed in 2011, and agrees to meet the Penang state’s water demand until 2050.