Politics of Privatisation: Water Tariff in Water Supply Distribution in Selangor

Muhammad Shamshinor Abdul Azzis, Sity Daud, Mohd. Azri Ibrahim, Hamdan Mohd. Salleh, Muhamad Wazir Muslat


Privatisation of water supply distribution in Selangor has been implemented through concession by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) in the period of 2004-2013. That period shows the clash between two aspirations of the state government which is Barisan Nasional (before the 12th GE) and Pakatan Rakyat (after the 12th GE). The problem statement in this study is privatisation theory in the neo-liberalism framework which promotes minimal intervention of government in the market. Nevertheless, privatisation in Malaysia, particularly water services in Selangor has shown a contradictory scenario where the privatisation has been implemented with an active intervention by the government; both by the BN & PR state governments. In federalism perspective, the interventions in the water distribution privatisation by both levels of governments (state and federal government) are through the application of power and their political agenda respectively. Next, this article also evaluates the correlation between customer satisfaction and water tariff in privatisation by SYABAS. This study applies mixed methodology which used both quantitative (by questionnaire) and qualitative (through primary and secondary data) approaches. The data were analyzed descriptively and inferentially. Meanwhile, the result for the survey showed a significant correlation between the customer satisfaction and water tariff by SYABAS.


Privatisation; government intervention; water distribution; water tariff

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