S’gor water industry revamp, tiger conservation among Ministry’s highlights: Xavier

01 May 2019 / 12:11 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The restructuring of the Selangor water industry and efforts to save the critically endangered Malayan Tiger count as among notable positive developments of the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry over the past year under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar (pix) said he was glad that long overdue issues of water restructuring involving the Selangor and the federal governments as well as water companies were resolved in a speedy manner after he took over at the ministry.

“Now in Selangor we have Air Selangor which is 100% owned by the Selangor state government and functions as the sole water company in the state for water supply services in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya,” he briefed the media in Putrajaya recently on the performance of the ministry one year on since PH formed the federal government.

On non-revenue water (NRW), he said the ministry was already working with other relevant agencies to ensure that plans to bring it down to manageable levels could be achieved to eliminate wastage and loss of treated water.

Xavier noted that at present, the nationwide NRW was about 35% and the focus was on reducing NRW to 31% by the end of the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Also on the ministry’s radar are efforts to save the Malayan Tiger for which the two-year ‘Save Our Malayan Tiger’ campaign has been launched aimed to increase its numbers, with less than 200 tigers now left in the wild.

“We will follow through with quite a number of programmes lined up for this year to highlight the plight of the Malayan Tiger,“ he said, adding this would include getting assistance from other governments as well.

In another development, Xavier said the proclamation of the Jerai Geopark in Kedah and Kinta Valley in Perak as national geoparks at the end of last year would boost conservation of geological heritage sites as well as tourism, helping locals to generate additional income along the way.

The minister said two more geoparks, in Johor and Pahang, were in the pipeline while efforts were underway to make Taman Negara a United Nations-recognised forest preservation area.

On the demarcation of Malaysia’s international land border, Xavier said that the finalisation of the land border with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei was 73% complete.

“With the mapping that we’ve done, we’re going to register it...with the United Nations,“ Xavier, adding that with regard to maritime boundaries, any differences with other claimants could be taken up at different levels.

He also said that the ministry was auditing federal land to ascertain how much had been given out over the past 20 years.

The minister underscored that there would be no under-the-table dealings at the ministry as far as land was concerned. — Bernama

email blast