MCA: “Penang economy drowning in losses as water agency’s planning flops”

AN MCA leader has slammed the Penang state government for the lack of clear assurances regarding the scheduled water supply disruption from Jan 10 to 14 next year, saying as a result, thousands of factories in the state would have to temporarily halt their operations.

MCA Vice President and MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said this raises concerns about how the DAP-led state government could disregard the substantial losses that Penang is about to incur due to the impending water disruption.

Citing Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang (FMM Penang) chairman Datuk Seri Lee Teong Li who said that the vast majority of factories in Penang only have a water storage capacity to sustain operations for 48 hours, Tan warned that a continuous 96-hour water supply disruption would present significant difficulties for the manufacturing industry in maintaining its activities.

“Nevertheless, the state government’s response to this situation is notably lackadaisical. Despite the FMM Penang’s request for a meeting, no arrangements have been made by the state government,” Tan said in a statement on Friday (Dec 29).

“Does the Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow not fully grasp the potential immeasurable losses that could result from the closure of thousands of factories?”

Tan said the country is on the path to economic recovery, and the Penang state government’s “indifference” to the disruption caused by factory closures is “reminiscent of the state government’s failure to proactively present any viable solution” when Penang grappled with water supply issues throughout the month of December.

“Hoteliers in Penang are also planning to limit the number of guests next month during the water supply disruption. This is expected to result in a 20% drop in daily revenue, posing a considerable setback for Penang’s tourism industry,” he stated.

“Water reserves of hotels typically last for three days, and, as such, the Penang state government’s plan for a 96-hour water supply disruption is exceptionally problematic. Penang’s most crucial economic pillars, manufacturing and tourism, cannot withstand such a blow.”

Tan went on to point out that the maintenance strategy of the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) is “deeply flawed” as evident in the persistent water disruptions throughout December.

“MCA Penang has consistently called for a restructuring of the water authority, underscoring the need for individuals incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities to step down and apologise,” he stressed.

“The board should subsequently appoint skilled water management professionals to take up the mantle and address the challenges effectively.” – Dec 29, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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