Hajiji: Bring water thieves to book

Hajiji: Bring water thieves to book

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has instructed the Water Department to invoke the laws under its purview and bring water theft culprits to the court of law.

“Arrest them and charge them in court,” he said.

“Similarly, we want factories found to be stealing water to be brought to the court of law instead of merely issuing them with compounds,” he said.

He said it was imperative for stern actions to be taken against those stealing water because illegal connections have been identified as the main cause for the 60 per cent non-revenue water (NRW) in Sabah, which is the highest in the country.

Speaking at the Chief Minister’s Department post-cabinet meeting today, Hajiji said the State Cabinet had called up the Water Department for a briefing following the demonstration by a group, including Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) students demanding for the water issues to be resolved.

“The State Cabinet was briefed that during the past two months, UMS only experienced water outage for one or two days due to burst pipes,” he said, adding that the Water Department had been supplying water to UMS between four million to seven million litres daily coupled with the well tube that can supply one million litres daily.

“I have asked the UMS vice chancellor to look into the matter to find out the reason for the water not reaching the students,” he said.

The Cabinet was briefed that water supply to UMS became scarce due to the many illegal connections detected from five villages up to the university, he said.

“That is why I want the Water Department enforcement to go and disconnect these illegal connections. Apart from that, take stern action against the culprits,” he said, adding that the illegal connections were found to supply water to several villages located behind UMS, which is on a disputed land between the settlers and the land owners.

“Perhaps, the Water Department could install a 500-litre tank at the site and charge the people there for the water. This will prevent them from reconnecting illegally to the water mains,” he said

Nonetheless, he said the State Government’s responsibility is to supply water and various efforts have been made contrary to claims by the opposition.

The Telibong II Water Treatment Plant has been completed and now awaiting for the water pipes installation to be completed, he said, adding that once completed it would provide an additional 160 mld to cater for the northern part of Sabah including UMS andits surrounding area.

Apart from that, works to boost water supply on the southern part of the West Coast that would benefit people in Papar, Lok Kawi and Putatan have already started eight months ago and are expected to be completed by 2026.


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