over the years. I am pleased that the issue of local and sub-national authorities isbeing emphasised with regard to managing water resources. Water knows noboundary lines, and spans across geographical borders that governmentsartificially draw up. Local, state, regional and national level authorities are forcedto work closely together in ensuring water resources are managed efficiently,and sustainably for the long-term benefit of our citizens.I am here today representing the State of Selangor in Malaysia. As Chief Minister,I am proud to note our state is the lifeline of the country
it forms the majorportion of the Klang Valley, the central hub that is the primary contributor toMalaysia
s economic growth. As the most industrial, urban and thriving state,within which Kuala Lumpur our capital also lies, we are a state that needs thebest water management possible.But today I would like to present a case study to you, an ongoing case of conflict that we are still in the middle of resolving. This is a classic case of the country
sfailed attempt at privatising a public utility, made worse by two factors : theinextricable nexus between the political and business sectors, where privateindividual profitability is prioritised, and conflicting political interests.Allow me to trace the historical roots of this conflict. Malaysia is by constitution afederated nation, consisting of 13 state governments and three federalterritories. The water services industry in Malaysia was originally under thehelm of the individual state authorities. But following a wave of privatisationunder former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, the decision was made toprivatise water services as well.Although Selangor
s water authority was doing well financially at the time,bringing in profits to the state, the government at the time decided to change thismodel. Over the years between 1997 and 2005, water treatment and distributionservices were corporatised and then privatised to four separate concessioncompanies. They were given lucrative contracts, lasting up to 30 years.