Hannah Yeoh

Posted by : Unknown | Selasa, 12 April 2011 | Published in

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Hannah Yeoh

Syabas' explanation & residents' responses

Posted: 11 Apr 2011 07:36 AM PDT

Why Syabas can't give prior notice

NST : 2011/04/06 

KUALA LUMPUR: No prior notices will be issued for unscheduled water disruption, says Syabas corporate affairs division executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som. 

In a statement sent by Syabas late Tuesday evening, Abdul Halem said the recent water disruption that affected over 9,000 Subang Jaya households was due to an unscheduled water disruption.

He said it was not within the company's standard operating procedure to issue immediate notices when there is an unscheduled disruption in water supply. Whereas, the company is obliged to issue a seven-day notice prior to a scheduled water disruption date.

"The alerts will be sent to the media as well as to Yakin (Unit Kerjasama Informasi Pelanggan) which is under the Customer Services Department. Our Industrial Customer Unit will also be notified, so consumer will be prepared and have time to store water prior to the scheduled water disruption." 

In an earlier statement issued late Saturday, Syabas said the disruption was due to the receding water levels at Effingham, Bukit Gasing and Subang Airport ponds.

Halem said Syabas also faced difficulties filling up the affected ponds as the level of water was at its lowest point and consumer usage was at maximum capacity.

"We had acted swiftly by activating the Emergency Action Plan on Saturday at 3.30pm which included deploying water trucks to the affected areas both in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. The next day, the water demands had lessened and we managed to restore the supply."

He said the water supply is in a dire strait as usage in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya is very high. "We urge the Government to develop an alternative source of water supply to meet the escalating needs."

By Dawn Chan

NST : 2011/04/07

KUALA LUMPUR: Subang Jaya Residents Association (SJRA) chairman A.S. Gill has described the water disruption incident as unacceptable.
"The announcement could have been made as they must have known that the water level was dropping.

"I am not sure if the reason given for not announcing the disruption is acceptable. SJRA members are extremely upset and would like somebody from Syabas to take responsibility. That would be the honourable thing to do," he said.

Echoing Gill, was SS152 and SS15/3 Residents Association chairman Borhan Rahmat.

He said it was unacceptable that Syabas did not alert the residents over water shortage as part of their standard operating procedure (SOP).

"Syabas is a privatised and a commercial house and holds the monopoly, so they should be responsible and sending out alerts has to be made part of their SOP.

"It is their duty to advise the residents so that the latter will be prepared for the situation. Not notifying the residents is unacceptable and the unscheduled water disruption alert should be made part of their key performance index," Borhan said.

He said Syabas should always ensure that the water levels at their reservoirs are sufficient. It was a surprise to Borhan to learn that the supply had receded when it had rained heavily a few days before the disruption.

"Logically, can water supply in a large reservoir recede in a matter of hours? It would take at least a few days for that to happen. Didn't Syabas realise this?" he asked.

Borhan, however, was one of the lucky callers to get through Syabas's 24-hour toll free hotline, Puspel, but his neighbours were not as fortunate as him.

SS19/1 Residents Association secretary Mohamad Noh Samik said although it was an unscheduled water disruption, Syabas should have informed the residents in whatever way deemed appropriate.

"I had no answers and I called the hotline six times on Saturday but each time I was put on hold for about 10 minutes before the line was cut off. Syabas should have been more pro-active and tell the public the situation.

"Maybe it is not their fault but it is their obligation to keep the residents informed.

"This is common courtesy. The incident would have been more forgivable if we got answers through the hotline," said Mohamad Noh.

Syabas, he added, could have taken the step to inform SJ Alert, which in turn would have disseminated information through its short messaging service.

There were other alternatives such as Twitter and Facebook as well, said Mohamad Noh.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has summoned Syabas to the next Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) to answer three questions:

  -Why wasn't there an alert when water level at these 3 reservoirs dropped?

  -Why didn't consumers receive any notice (prior to and during disruption)?

  -What happened to Puspel's call centre and what is its call-handling capacity especially during a crisis?

Yeoh said the Selangor state government has been making attempts to restructure the water industry in Selangor but has received no favourable response from Syabas.

Speaking to Streets yesterday, Yeoh said, "We'll wait for the next MTES sitting as the state exco has announced, based on reports in March, that there was no water shortage problem."

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