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SHUTDOWN REDUNDANT AGENCIES: GOVERNMENT CAN SAVE OPERATIONAL BUDGET AND STOP IMPLEMENTATION STUMBLING BLOCKS

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 29th APRIL 2020 (WEDNESDAY)

SHUTDOWN REDUNDANT AGENCIES: GOVERNMENT CAN SAVE OPERATIONAL BUDGET AND STOP IMPLEMENTATION STUMBLING BLOCKS

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) would like the government to implement strictly one of the 11th Malaysia Plan’s chapters on removing redundant agencies and incompetent officers. We have raised this issue many times and it will always be smothered by the relevant agencies and their respective secretary general or minister. In the field of water, energy and environment there are few redundant agencies that can be immediately shut down and there will be no impact to the government’s operation. At the moment the government is looking into trimming down expenses and improving delivery of services to rakyat to counter the economic impact due to Covid-19.

These agencies also complicate the enforcement work done by regulators in charge of water and energy sector. There were cases where project allocations managed by these redundant agencies are not performing and some being developed out of thin air without proper statics based proof or cost benefits. This situation will cause waste of taxpayers’ money as well as creating more white elephant project and delayed service efficiency.

Water Sector
Sewerage Services Department (JPP) has overlapping function with Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB), Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) and Indah Water Konsortium (IWK). Water Supply Department (JBA) has overlapping functions with PAAB, SPAN and water operators. There should not be any attempts to reduce functions of PAAB, SPAN, Indah Water Konsortium or water operators to justify the existence of both JBA and JPP. Both JBA and JPP must be closed down and its staff force can be absorbed to SPAN, PAAB, Indah Water Konsortium, water operators or other government vacancies.

Energy and Environment Sector
Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) and Yayasan Hijau can be closed down as well. SEDA's functions can be carried out by Energy Commission under a department. Meanwhile, Yayasan Hijau's function can be carried out by Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre. SEDA’s formation was mooted due to office politics and not real national policy need. Renewable Energy Act was prepared way before 2011 by Pusat Tenaga Malaysia (now Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre). It is sad to note that the cabinet and parliament has been taken for a ride by individuals who pushed for SEDA's formation. Now, since there is an exit policy within 11th Malaysia Plan, these officers should be booted out of the government service as well.

New Water Resources Federal Agency
There are also plans to form a new water resources federal agency via 12th Malaysia Plan. This will create more office politics and increased operational cost. If government still intends pursue this, the portfolio can be placed under SPAN. This will complete SPAN’s role to regulate water resource, water treatment, water supply and sewerage. Department of Environment will be carrying out their role in pollution prevention and enforcement of pollution to water resources. Meanwhile, Department of Irrigation and Drainage will continue to implement flood mitigation and river care works. We do not see a dying need to form a new agency. Any new law that will be developed for water resource can be placed under SPAN’s purview. Generally this is called optimisation.

12th Malaysia Plan Must Be Reviewed
AWER has also send letter and proposed suggestions to YAB Prime Minister and YB Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed to urge the government to review the 12th Malaysia Plan so that it is in line with the current economic condition and obstacles that will be faced by the global economy. We have also included more than 40 suggestions to improve 12th Malaysia Plan and make it more nation and people centric.

We hope the Federal Government will lead by example to close down these four redundant agencies to ensure no overlapping functions. Similarly, the government must also review the 12th Malaysia Plan implementation to enhance investors and business communities’ confidence as well as delivery of services to the public and table it in the Parliament close to tabling of 2021 Budget.

Piarapakaran S.
President
Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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