Jacob George, just want to know, if you are president of CASSA can you still be a member of any BN component party like MCA, MIC, Gerakan or PPP. If the Selangor government is confusing the people, do you have the Best and BERSIH solution to solve this problem without Rakyat being CHEATED. Make sure you take responsibility to be punished if your solution turn out Kaput or turn out Kotor..!!!!
I agreed with pertaining the real issue he – it is not the water level at our reservoirs but the treated water shortfall.
The problems of our NGO is that they are mostly involving politicians. Not focusing to fight for social justice but rather as a political platform
Cassa says most people in the state are not sure who is right and wrong.
(Bernama) – Wat-er confusion! The Selangor government is confusing the people over water issues in the state to suit its political agenda, and at the expense of consumers and the economy, a prominent consumer activist charged today.
Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa) president Jacob George said, based on feedback he had received, most people in Selangor were confused over who was right and wrong.
Amidst this confusion, he said the state government had also injected, as an after-thought, a new dimension to the water issue – that water tariffs would increase if the federal government went ahead with building the Langat 2 water treatment plant.
George also lamented that a number of executive councillors (excos) in the Selangor government were formerly non-governmental organisation (NGO) activists who had been looking at things negatively, no matter how well-intentioned the federal government plans were, to improve conditions in the country.
“I have been involved with various NGOs for 37 years. I could see their game-plan [over water issues], their strategies and that’s why they are bringing up irrelevant matters just to block what the federal government is trying to do,” he told Bernama in an interview.
In addition, George claimed the state government was also bringing in issues between it and Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd into the picture, whereas they should be resolved in a different platform.
He said this unnecessary time-wasting should have been spent on resolving the impending water crisis in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
“So, why is the state government doing all these? Don’t mix these up and place it in one basket. This is not right. This is for our future, not just for the people of Selangor but for our neighbours [in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya], as well, because it [water crisis] would have serious implications,” he added.
On the Langat 2 treatment plant which the state government was opposed to, the Cassa president said, all studies by experts showed the project had to be implemented without further delay due to a serious shortfall in treated water production, as the existing 34 plants in Selangor were operating at maximum capacity.
Here again, he said, the state government confused consumers by stating that the reservoirs were full of water, and that there was no crisis even in the future, although the argument was about adequate supply of treated water.
What the federal government was concerned about, he noted, was with long-term planning addressing an impending water crisis, given the rapid population growth and the needs of industries.
“The plans are for 10, 15 or 20 years ahead, and when you talk about water, there’s definitely going to be problems. It is a global issue now, and every country is facing it, coupled with weather, environmental and pollution problems setting in,” he said.
George said projects like the Langat 2 plant could not be implemented overnight and further delays fuelled by politicking, could push the cost of the project higher by as much as 70%.
In the first place, he said, there was no need to politicise the issue as it was a human rights issue, and in facing an issue such as consumer rights, all sides must remain level-headed and focus on the core issue.
George revealed that Cassa had offered to mediate in the federal-state conflict over the issue but the Selangor government had snubbed the offer, although the federal government gave positive response.
“We have sent many letters to them (Selangor government), giving them the feedback from consumers and they didn’t respond even once. So, we know that they don’t want Cassa to intervene but that’s their choice.
“We accept it but don’t say that we don’t know the ground feeling. We have gone to the ground, talking to various groups of society and everyone agrees that a water crisis is just round the corner,” he said.
He also took to task the National Water Services Commission (Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara or SPAN), for its relatively muted silence over water issues in Selangor, and this added to the confusion, as well.
“Cassa is very disappointed with the stand taken by SPAN and public perception of SPAN is rather negative, as if it doesn’t exist. Many times, we have inivited them to debates on water issues, but they didn’t attend.
“If they continue to be disinterested in playing a role, then it defeats the purpose of setting up SPAN.
“SPAN, with all its powers, should be in the forefront in trying to resolve such issues and the confusion arising from them. So far, they have failed to do this,” claimed George.
Palestinians in the Jordan Valley have very little access to water, living on 10-20 litres a day [EPA]
At a time when the Palestinian Authority is facing a severe financial crisis, a report by the UK-based non-governmental organisation Oxfam International has revealed that Palestinians could generate an extra $1bn a year by some estimates if Israel removes restrictions on the use of land, water and movement in the Jordan Valley.
“The Jordan Valley… has the potential to be the Palestinian bread basket,” the organisation said in the report, On the Brink: Israeli settlements and their impacts on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley. “However, the persistent expansion of Israeli settlements and other restrictions on Palestinian development have made life extremely difficult for Palestinian communities.”
The Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area holds nearly one-third of the West Bank’s land and is home to roughly 60,000 Palestinians. Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which delegated various degrees of autonomy to the Palestinian Authority (PA) around built up and urban areas, Israel retained full civil and military control over 60 per centof the West Bank. This is now known as Area “C”. Some 87 per cent of the Jordan Valley lies within this classification. Area “A” is defined as under full PA control and Area B is under Israeli military control; the PA here is in charge of civilian affairs. These designations have effectively divided the West Bank into three main non-contiguous areas.
Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley are mainly farmers or Bedouins, mostly living in enclaves hemmed in by closed Israeli military zones, checkpoints and more than 30 Israeli settlements. Their movement is severely hindered by a stringent permit system and by “live fire” zones. Here, the Israeli military sometimes carries out training exercises in close proximity to Palestinian communities – and even inside population centres and villages.
This was the case in Al Aqaba, a herding and agricultural community located on the Western edge of the Jordan Valley. Before 1967, around 2,000 Palestinians lived in this small village. There are fewer than 300 inhabitants today, after Israeli authorities created three military camps on its outskirts, and began military “training exercises” – using live ammunition – often within the village itself.