Sabah govt appears to have reached a dead end in its attempt to address the water supply problem in Sabah – Bung

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government appears to be unable to find a solution to address the issue of water supply in Sabah, said Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Panglima Bung Moktar Radin.


He said that the water supply issue has been happening for quite some time, but there is no concrete solution, making it a major crisis that needs to be addressed urgently and requires assistance from the central government.

Bung, who is also Sabah UMNO Chief, said although the water supply issue is the responsibility of the state government, seeing this as a prolonged problem requires assistance from the central government.

“I am aware and understand that the water supply issue in Sabah is the responsibility of the state government; however, when it becomes a critical issue at this time, does the central government intend to help the Sabah government seriously in solving this problem?” he said.

Bung made these remarks while posing an additional question to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

He emphasised that the central government needs to help resolve the water supply problem in Sabah, which is almost happening throughout the state and has affected the lives of the people.

Meanwhile, in responding to the question, Fadillah, who is also the Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation, said that the Ministry of Economy has approved an additional allocation of RM100 million to address the water supply issue in Sabah.

Fadillah said that the approval was obtained after the Ministry of Energy, Transition, and Water Transformation (PETRA) requested a cost realignment, following the approval of the Cabinet on September 27, 2023, which allocated RM300 million as a loan to address the issue.

“Based on this decision, four new projects have been approved under the Fourth Rolling Plan (RP4), the 12th Malaysia Plan, totaling RM200 million for the short-term resolution of the water supply issue in the state of Sabah.

“The Sabah government has also been allocated RM163.55 million under RP4 for connection projects.

Fadilah stated that his ministry will ensure that the approved projects are monitored regularly by conducting site visits and meetings with the responsible agencies.

He says that the current focus of the central government is to assist Sabah in addressing the water supply issue, which involves the repair and replacement of water pipes.

“Because one of the challenges in Sabah is the high non-revenue water (NRW) rate, over 50 percent, that’s why our priority is to replace pipes, which we will provide as grants and implement together with Sabah.

“This is expected to reduce NRW, but at the same time, Sabah itself needs to take action to reduce NRW, especially water stolen from its own water supply sources,” he added.

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