Thursday, 17 June 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) — The provision for essential utilities in terms of both quality of service and coverage in the management of water resources, electricity, broadband, solid waste management will be enhanced under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).The 10MP report published by the Economic
Planning Unit of the Prime
Minister’s Department focused on:
- Managing water endowment and supply;
- Ensuring the reliability of electricity supply;
- Significantly increasing broadband penetration; and
- Restructuring solid waste management.
Malaysia will reassess the management of its resources across the entire water cycle – from where the water is drawn, to how the water is treated and supplied to citizens and how wastewater is returned to the environment.
The strategy for ensuring sustainable water supply will have three areas of focus:
- Developing a long-term strategy for water resource management to achieve water security;
- Continuing efforts to restructure the water services industry; and
- Protecting rivers from pollution.
Under the 10MP, demand for water, excluding the agriculture sector, is expected to grow from 8,550 million litres per day in 2009 to 10,520 million litres per day by 2015.
In ensuring a long-term supply-demand profile, the National Water Resources Policy will chart the future course for the sector and outline measures to ensure efficient and effective management of this increasingly scarce resource, including streamlining policies and legislations to allow for more efficient and equitable distribution of water resources.
In continuing efforts to restructure the water services industry, Malaysia will focus on;
- Completing the migration of state water operators;
- Moving towards full cost recovery;
- Driving efficiency in operations and capital expansion;
- Improving water services infrastructure; and
- Integrating water and sewerage services.
Since more than 90 percent of Malaysia’s water supply comes from rivers and streams, efforts to tackle river pollution will continue to be given due emphasis by strengthening the enforcement on industrial effluents and sewerage discharge in line with the revisions to the regulations under the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
Other measures include revising the current Water Quality Index to incorporate additional parameters, such as biological parameters, for more accurate river water classification; developing the National Marine Water Quality Index to replace current Marine Water Quality Criteria and Standard, which was developed in 2008.
To ensure a stable electricity supply system and continued security sustainable electricity supply, a new Energy Policy will drive major shifts in the electricity sector and in addition, the productivity and efficiency of utility providers will also be enhanced.
The report said the development of alternative sources of energy, particularly hydro as well as importation of coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2015 will improve security of supply.
Nuclear energy as a longer term option for electricity generation will also be considered to ensure reliable cost effective supply in Peninsular Malaysia.
Under the new Energy Policy and the overall strategy to rationalize subsidies, different forms of assistance will be provided to low income households for which the social safety net is required.
Delivery of services by utilities to new and existing customers will be accelerated through the use of new technologies and performance-based regulations to ensure faster response time in providing new electrical connections and restoring supply interruptions.
To enhance broadband penetration, the government has set a target of raising household
broadband penetration to 75 percent by 2015 and this can be achieved via two main initiatives – High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) and Broadband for General Population (BBGP).
The restructuring of solid waste management, the responsibility of solid waste management and public cleansing will be shifted from local authorities to the jurisdiction of the Federal government.
These efforts will include providing support to local authorities, delivering comprehensive and sanitary services and ensuring that waste is managed in a sustainable manner.