Multi-million ringgit spent on a water treatment project for Orang Asli settlements and rural schools, but no water


water supply system in 192 remote areas in Malaysia utilizing Ultra Filtration Membrane built by Rossigton in year 2008-2012
Ultra Filtration Membrane Water supply system installed in 192 sites in rural areas in Malaysia. 

Malaysia government has wasted more than RM110 million on a failed or cancelled water supply project that was carried out between 2008 and 2012.

The project worth RM151million was awarded to Rossington Consolidated Sdn Bhd by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and Ministry of Education in 2008-2009 after they were fascinated by the pilot project (Tubewell) that was successfully built in late 2005 and officially launched by the Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, on 26 Sep 2006.

This was in line with the government’s efforts to find an innovative solution, supply clean water, and solve the water woes in Orang Asli settlements and Rural Schools in Peninsular Malaysia.

The project implementation started in 133 schools in 2008 under the Ministry of Education, whereas the project for the 82 Orang Asli settlements was kicked off in 2009 under Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

The Ministry of Education invested RM38 million for the 133 schools water supply. Another central contract worth over RM113 million from Ministry of Rural and Regional Development for the 82 Orang Asli villages – the total cost was over RM151 million.

More than 82 Orang Asli settlements and 133 rural schools were going to benefit from the water supply system which was to help address the shortage of water in these remote areas, but unfortunately, the project was cancelled and abandoned just after its completion.

A pupil at one of the rural schools miles away from Ipoh

Almost RM110 million was paid to the contractor by the government between 2006 and 2012, but no clean water and no solution reached; the project was neither finalized, nor was the installed system maintained, nor given much attention, and the water company in charge was suspended.

The contractor promised to solve and supply clean drinkable water to the rural areas by building a sophisticated water supply system utilizing Ultra Filtration Membrane – the latest technology in water treatment.

They did build and install it in 192 sites all over Malaysia, but till now it is not working and not maintained.

The contractor, when contacted, said that they had completed the project in due time, but somehow the company faced many issues when the government did not want to continue paying the rest of the payment (an alleged outstanding of  RM40 million).

The deposits that the contractor received from the Education Ministry and Rural and Development Ministry were not sufficient to finalize, service and maintain the water supplier systems installed in 192 sites, the company claimed.

Asked why the two ministries delayed the payments of the rest RM40 million, the contractor alleged it was because the government stopped the project including service and maintenance and hired other contractors to install different systems.

“The government did not help or wait for the matter to be resolved.  Instead, they terminated our services and appointed another party to build other systems which also failed in supplying enough sustainable clean water to Orang Asli settlements and rural schools,” claimed the contractor.

A staff working in one of the rural schools at the suburbs of Ipoh told Malaysia World News, “there is only a small water filter that supplies just enough water for pupils to drink, but we need clean water in the canteen and mosque which we are not provided yet… We have been waiting for years.”

@Malaysia World News

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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