The Selangor State Executive Committee has decided today to allow Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) to make an offer of RM 9.65 billion to begin the takeover process of Selangor's water concessionaire companies.

The offer letter to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding (Splash) will be officially issued this afternoon.

This takeover is part of the effort to return the right to water to the people of Selangor. A democratically elected government chosen by the people to lead the state should be the ones responsible for managing the water industry.

This takeover will have an important impact on the lives of the people where residents of Selangor will continue to receive 20 cubic meters of free water and will not be trapped with increasing water tariffs that are unjust and burdensome.

The people will also experience a management of the water industry that is transparent and efficient; most importantly, this takeover will end the era of monopolisation of the water industry by any individual or company.

The state government believes that this takeover will go smoothly given that this offer is the best offer by the people of Selangor to defend their right to affordable water.

The state government is also of the view that this high offer will solve the problem of water privatisation that has clearly failed to provide an acceptable level of service to the people and hopes that all involved, including Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, do not prejudice this

We are also confident that this offer will not cause a loss for any of the companies involved because this amount represents a return of 12% a year on equity as compared to the average returns for the water industry which stands at 6%. In addition, all liabilities will also be taken over.

The state government has also received on the 14th of February a reply from Peter Chin dated 6th of February, 2013.

Unfortunately, the minister's reply was not helpful in moving this takeover forward because it seems the minister is extremely confused with the situation we are facing.

The minister has failed to understand the role he should play as the minister responsible for overseeing the water industry, to the point where he has provided a number of contradictory facts and views.

In his letter, the minister stated that the federal government has no objections for the state government to begin the takeover process. However, when asked recently by the media, he still firmly stated that the takeover process cannot go ahead without approval from the federal government.

In fact, we have always acknowledged that the federal government has deciding power in its role as golden shareholders, as provided for in the Water Services Act 2006 (Act 655).

Therefore, we have stated consistently that the federal government should exercise this power for the public good and facilitate the state government's restructuring exercise after the state government has made an offer to the concessionaire companies.

The Selangor state government is consistent in its stand that the rights to water should be given to the people of Selangor and that this will comprehensively solve the problems of the management of the water industry.

The state government also believes that the people will support our initiative because the government of the day was elected precisely to bring about these types of badly needed reforms.