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    Apr 16, 2014

    Factories hit by Selangor water woes


    THE water rationing exercise in Selangor - where consumers receive water for two days, followed by two days without water - is causing havoc among factory operators.

    "When the factory operators receive water, the water pressure is often too low," Selangor Malaysian Chinese Association deputy chairman Donald Lim said on Monday, adding that the water is often dirty.

    Mr Lim said there were people taking advantage of the situation by offering clean water at the rate of RM1,000 (S$386) to RM1,800 per tanker. He did not know who these people were and where they were getting the water from.

    Factory owners are also not asking questions because they are so desperate and willing to pay to get their supply, he added.

    Industries in Selangor are bound to be badly hit by soaring costs should they be subject to water rationing, according to the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

    FMM president Saw Choo Boon said a food and beverage company based in Shah Alam would require an alternative supply amounting to about 120 tankers' worth of water a day.

    "If they do not get the supply, they stand to lose about RM15 million a day in costs and sales, as production will be stopped because of water shortage," he added.

    Top Glove and Supermax, two of the world's biggest rubber-glove manufacturers, said prolonged water rationing will raise costs and disrupt production.

    Top Glove said it will cost 10 times the normal rate to transport water to factories affected by the shortage, chairman Lim Wee Chai said.

    Both companies said the industry already faces lower profit margins amid an oversupply of gloves, which will worsen in the second half. "Should this continue, there may be forced downtime for our production lines," he said.

    A total of 821 project applications were put on hold as of the end of last month in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya due to the shortage, state Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim said.