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Monday, 21 May 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Exco to fulfil manifesto promise of lower water tariff

JOHOR BARU: Lower water tariff, free water for the poor and uninterrupted water supply should be within sight as newly-minted International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah (pic) says it is time to walk the talk.

Puah said he had begun working to fulfil the three initiatives drawn up in Johor Pakatan Harapan’s GE14 manifesto.

They include providing 10 cubic metres of free water to B40 group state-wide monthly, ensuring there is sustained and minimal interruption of water supply in the state and to review the state’s water tariff.

“We have a total of one million water account holders in the state, covering all categories namely residential, commercial and industrial areas.

“Our water rate is the highest in the country at RM1.31 per cubic metre,” he told StarMetro, adding that the state was looking at how to reduce it.

The move to offer free water to the B40 group, which refers to those earning less than RM3,000 a month, can benefit almost 500,000 people, he said.

“We have to look at the mechanism used in Selangor for free water, one of the options is to give consumers rebates,” he said, adding that water issues were close to his heart and he frequently highlighted such concerns in the state assembly.

“Now that the people have given us the mandate to look into water issues, I promise to fulfil and live up to the expectations,” Puah added.

When asked what prompted him to join politics, the father of two said he wanted a change for the country.

“It has been a great journey. There have been ups and down, but I am up for the job and eager to serve the people,” he said.

He noted that the new state government planned to first approach Singapore to be the state’s “closest and strategic” investor.

He added that it was important for the state to continue to be business-friendly to attract investments.

“I hope to recommend Singapore as the first destination to our new Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian to visit along with our delegation.

“We want Singaporeans and global investors to continue investing in Johor,” he said.

Puah, who is also Johor PKR deputy chief, added that the people’s expectation of the new government was high and it was time they “walked the talk”.

“The elections are over and we have to start work. I too have resigned from my legal practice and will focus on my duties,” he added.