Tag Archives: water cut

Perhaps, the key is getting enforcers to do their job

Christmas puts me in a good mood. So, rather than chastize and criticize, I’m going to charitably offer a few tips on how a couple of our authorities can do a better job of dealing with recurring problems.

Firstly, let’s draw attention to Air Selangor. The Klang Valley suffered another unscheduled water cut yesterday because of a petroleum odour in Sungai Semenyih. Water was restored by 1am today but it would be one of a number of times water was cut this year because of water pollution. I hope it will be the last.

I must congratulate the sniffers at Air Selangor for their skill and quick action in sniffing out the odorous problems and cutting off the water supply so that Klang Valley residents don’t get polluted water! They do their job and that’s commendable. But, why has water pollution become a recurring cause of water cuts in the Klang Valley?

Why are the authorities unable to solve this issue once and for all? While the sniffers are doing their job, are those whose job it is to prevent the rivers from being polluted doing theirs? Are they ensuring that the upper reaches of the waterways right up to the treatment plants are protected so that it is impossible for anyone to pollute them?

It is not enough to identify the problem early and turn off the water supply immediately, and inconvenience thousands of households. This is one of the few instances when water pollution shouldn’t happen. Are the authorities doing everything they can to ensure it?

Are the upper reaches of rivers fenced sufficiently away from the river banks so that no one can throw their waste into the rivers? Are these fences patrolled and guarded against polluters and saboteurs? Are there housing and industries in these areas that are spilling their wastes into these stretches of water? If there are, are there not sufficient legislation to move these homes and industries to alternative sites and the owners provided with adequate compensation?

Investing money to enforce existing legislation to ensure the purity of the upper reaches of waterways to prevent water cuts caused by water pollution will make the state government look smart, capable, proactive and firm in solving a water problem that is needlessly causing a great deal of inconvenience to households and industries.

Perhaps, the key is enforcement. If Air Selangor can ensure its enforcement officers are doing their job and not letting off offenders lightly or with a little palm greasing, this problem will, in time, be resolved. The question is whether the Selangor government and Air Selangor have the moral will to enforce enforcement to prevent water cuts due to water pollution from recurring.

Enforcement, perhaps, is also an overlooked factor in seeking amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342). The act imposes a maximum fine of RM1,000 on individuals for flouting standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as not wearing masks in public places.

The amendments seek to increase the fine to a maximum of RM100,00 or a jail term of not more than seven years or both. Opposition parties have announced they will not support the amendments as they were too punitive and open to abuse.

Due to opposition, the fines were reduced to a maximum of RM50,000 and a three-year jail term limit for individuals, and a maximum fine of RM500,000 (from RM1 million) for a corporate organization.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in seeking the amendments said that the fines were raised to act as a deterrent to repeat offenders.

If they are repeat offenders then the fines they pay would add up to much more — if enforcement officers were doing their job and the Health Ministry doing its job in ensuring that the enforcement officers did their job!

Are the repeat offenders many or few? If few, why penalize the majority with hefty fines? I suspect introducing legislation is the easier way out than enforcing existing laws.

Like I said earlier, a key overlooked factor is enforcement. If enforcement is firm but fair with enforcers penalized for not enforcing, many of these recurring issues will disappear.

The question is whether ministers will enforce enforcement.


Eventful December, but, please no more water cuts!

Yes, I was one of the thousands of residents in Selangor who were without water for 3-4 days when the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant was closed due to an emission of odour in the water supply.

A few days ago, it was reported that the dumping of waste into manholes was the cause of the recent closure of the water treatment plant and that the authorities have taken steps to solve the problem and water supply was restored by Christmas eve to most homes.

Well, hopefully, that is the real cause for the closure and if the problem is solved then we can expect that there will be no more water cuts!

There were two previous water cuts in the past year and the reason given for each was pollution. Well, the cause has been identified and I hope there will be no more water cuts!

The first two times there was a water cut I tolerated it because water was restored by the second day. This time it took longer and happened just before Christmas affecting my preparations for Christmas, and my patience had worn thin by then.

Thank God, relatives came to my rescue and I managed to get all the essentials done by Christmas! No entertaining though, because there was no water supply to prepare for it! But other people had water and I enjoyed Christmas with them!

The water cut was the last irritation I had to deal with this season! In the first week of December, I fell in the rain and injured my left knee and right foot. No fractures but I couldn’t walk for two weeks and rested at home. One week before Christmas I was able to walk on flat shoes and did all the shopping of gifts for my little relatives. Then I caught a cold and had a little emergency because I had taken clarinase to ease the nasal and chest congestion and it had adverse effects on me, causing a rapid heartbeat. My doc referred me to the Subang Jaya Medical Centre emergency where they found that I can’t take clarinase!

Then, came the water cut and I had to run between relatives’ homes and mine to shower and such! It was so tiring! But Christmas was a happy time, despite the usual run-ins with family members! Now, I’m glad to have some spare time to rest, but, please, life has its own share of problems and we don’t have to make it worse with a water cut!

Please, no more water cuts!