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BUDGET 2012 – Rural Water and Electrification Programme Needs Check and Balance

BUDGET 2012 – Rural Water and Electrification Programme Needs Check and Balance
Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) has reviewed the Budget for 2010, 2011 and 2012. There has been significant allocation to improve rural water and electrification. This is a good move and should be continue in the future.
Based on our study, the following can be observed:
Benefit outlined for rural programmes
Water Supply – RM 530 Million for 16,000 household
Electricity Supply – RM 825 Million for 30,000 household
Water and Electricity Supply:
- RM 1.2 Billion for Sarawak
- RM 1.5 Billion for Sabah
- RM 556 Million for Peninsular
Water Supply - RM 2.1 Billion for 200,000 households
Electricity Supply - RM 1.1 Billion for 39,000 households
This is a vital programme to ensure all Malaysian regardless of status do benefit basic necessities. However, AWER would like to raise few concerns to enhance these programmes further. First of all, Auditor General should conduct an overall audit for the rural water and electrification programmes to measure the achievements obtained for the past few years.
In addition to that, there were also few complaints due to lack of maintenance. For example, solar panels are full with moss due to no maintenance after contractor installed the panels. The residents (orang asli / kampong folks) also do not know what do to because they are not equipped to maintain it. Based on Tenaga Nasional Berhad subsidiary’s report, only 20 out of 28 mini hydros in Peninsular Malaysia are operational. Another 8 is still in rehabilitation planning. There are no reports on mini hydros’ status for Sabah and Sarawak. Therefore, it is vital for government to keep track of the important works done to ensure rural water and electrification programmes continue to function.
AWER would like to suggest the following to enhance the programmes:
(i)   Open bidding from technology providers to reduce cost of such programmes (compared to negotiated price);
(ii)  Cost of maintenance should also be included in the implementation stage;
(iii)   Embark on educating the rural community in basic maintenance work. This will also include creating semi-skill workers among the rural community;
(iv)  Allowing National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and Energy Commission to oversee and ensure proper implementation of these programmes for whole of Malaysia is vital as well.
AWER hopes that the government will take into consideration on our suggestions to ensure smooth and transparent implementation of rural water and electrification programmes.
Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER)

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