The pair of state leaders had once again come under the spotlight after both had fired shots at each other over the Kedah-Penang water disagreement.
Previously, the Kedah Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor had demanded that Penang to pay the Kedah state government RM50 million a year for extracting raw water from Sungai Ulu Muda.
Apparently, the shots were fired by Sanusi first, where he teased the Penang Chief Minister (CM) Chow Kon Yeow on Facebook, said he asked Chow about the payments for raw water to Kedah when he met the Penang DAP chairman at Istana Negara last night.
“The Penang chief minister’s answer to me was ‘Penang cannot afford it; our revenue is not much.’”
“It is very difficult to digest his answer because everyone knows that the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) generates a lot of income and profit from supplying water to the industrial, shipping, and domestic sectors, using raw water originating from Kedah.” he said.
He added that the demand for raw water payment was for Kedah and its people is a just and reasonable demand after Kedah’s sacrifice to keep the catchment area of hundreds of thousands of hectares.
In response, Chow once again stressed that Penang’s stance had been officially stated many times.
“We will not pay because the issue of payment does not arise. This is because we take water from our state borders. It seems that Kedah still does not want to understand.” said Chow.
The dispute has been going on since 2010 when Penang, through PBAPP has reprimanded the Kedah state government for approving a permit to explore rare earth elements minerals in Ulu Muda.
The Penang government then insisted on rejecting the claim and chose to defend the state’s riparian rights in court.
The Kedah government also did not rule out the possibility of taking the issue of the raw water charge claim against Penang to court if the problem could not be resolved.