How are you coping with the Penang water disruption?

macro photography of a stainless steel faucet

Is this water disruption in Penang (for up to four days from 10 January) for justified? Check out this article by Chuah Chong Lai in Aliran: Why cut water for up to four days in Penang?

It is all a far cry from the halcyon days of the Penang Water Authority, under its then legendary supremo, the late Kam U-Tee, when such prolonged or repeated disruptions were practically unheard of. Kam laid a solid foundation for Penang water storage, supply, treatment and distribution. (Check out the tribute to Kam here.) It was also the era when Penang boasted non-revenue water loss of well below 20%, unlike today. What has happened since then?

Did the state neglect the regular maintenance of water infrastructure in its obsession with its pet mega-projects? You know, the cable cars, the reclamation frenzy, the crazy (and expensive) highway building – all this when the population of Penang is barely rising.

Or have the troubles with Penang water anything to do with the corporatisation of the Penang Water Authority (from PBA to PBAPP) and the ensuring focus on profit margins rather than maintenance spending?

So how are you coping with the disruption of water supply? Did you splurge on buying big pails and basins to store water for a few days – if you had the spare cash, that is? Have you shut down your business for a couple of days? Have you been forced to take no-pay leave or replace lost work hours with longer hours on other days? Or have you taken this occasion to ‘abandon’ Penang, at least for a few days – ‘water refugees’, so to speak?

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Economist sees ‘sustained price hikes’ as Malaysians struggle to stretch the ringgit

Another economist suggests that the government expand initiatives to alleviate the burden of lower income groups.

White Hawk

Tomatoes now as high as RM12 per kilogram.

Mat Sabu should promote agriculture (give free seeds or saplings) so people can grow vegetables at home and rely less import while Ringgit is low in value!

A Rakyat 8

“Federal Govt looking to expedite airport expansion project in Penang, says PM” by Imran Hilmy dd Friday, 16 Feb 20247:52 PM MYT ======== >>> No worries, PH unity can take its time. How many times have the dates been changed so far, how many projects are involved, which requires “further study and discussion”? Probably, possibly, maybe, federal has insufficient funds.   Recently, remember one of the Penang leader gloating saying that this is the year of the Dragon, the year of infrastructure. One should know dragons breathes out fire and fire burns. “Expansion of Penang airport gets green light to start… Read more »

A Rakyat 8

“Fahmi to meet Penang House of Music operator ahead of closure”
Predeep Nambiar – 14 Feb 2024, 10:54pm

“Communications minister Fahmi Fadzil has reached out to the operator of the centre and will be meeting them soon.”


“State leaders looking for win-win situation to keep House of Music alive”
By Ian McIntyre dd 15 Feb 2024 9:02AM

“Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid was among leaders, who have voiced their intentions to save the place from closing.”


Hope all turns out well for the Penang House of Music.

A Rakyat 8

“Community unites: rallying to save Penang House of Music from closure”
By Daryl Goh dd Tuesday, 20 Feb 2024 11:10 PM MYT

A Rakyat 8

“Financial strain forcing iconic Penang House of Music to close”
By Predeep Nambiar dd 13 Feb 2024, 10:04pm


Hallo DCM2 for all Penangites, can the State Government which is fervently attached to Mega projects, sponsor or support our iconic Penang House of Music so that it does not close house. Maybe can move it to one of those colonial empty bungalows under the state ownership. Can or not?

Music being part of Penang’s Art and Culture, is part of good history and has heritage values if further research are done. It should cover all our multicultural communities.

A Rakyat 8

Now all it does is thumps its chest and boasts about brick and mortar infrastructure on a tiny little island of ours, like this statement, ” The Year of the Dragon means for Penang “the year of infrastructure” as the state is commencing many projects mooted since 2009″ and yet the 10 billion LRT project gets postponed again to don’t know when. Maybe not enough money in the Federal’s kitty.


M’sian Man Breaks Record By Ordering RM222 Nasi Kandar & Finishing It In 55 Minutes

He took on the ultimate food challenge at Nasi Kandar Sulaiman, devouring an epic spread that included 16 squids, 10 prawns, 2 chickens, squid egg, okra (bendi), rice, and mutton.
White Hawk

No need to promote nasi kandar as it is now an overpriced food item beyond average consumers.

A Rakyat 8

The water operators had more than 60 years to plan for repairs, maintenance and for gradual replacements of old pipes and valves. What were they doing? 

Now lost and desperate, they accuse the consumers of water wastage, claim need to raise the water rates while due to their incompetence, about 40% of treated water goes to waste annually through poor maintenance and infrastructure while deficit budgeting is always high on Cost allocation, very low on Development cost.

Some state water operators pretend to be mystified on this matter and the consumers of water become easy target. 


When users pay peanuts, expect what they get. In past, users have to go to a public, line up and get their water. Rakyat 888 forgets he or his friends have to take bath in the open public tap. Why no say about the 50B? They can built more schools, drinking water and improve publictransport

A Rakyat 8

What is happening with DCM2 for all Penangites. Just like DCM1, all silence. Not a sound. And the states keep increasing rates, hide behind SPAN, not enough funds for repair, maintenance and replacements.

Loong Huat

Putrajaya to speed up funding approval for Penang International Airport expansion, says PM Anwar.

A Rakyat 8

Lets wait and see. The dates for PIA expansion has already been changed several times. If they don’t begin as MOT said this September’24 or earlier as PM said, that would simply mean that they do not have sufficient funds in their coffers.

There can be no other explanation. Political leaders playing tai chi with us Rakyat.

A Rakyat 8

“Batu Ferringhi in dire need of rejuvenation dd Tuesday, 06 Feb 2024” ======== We wrote about Batu Ferringhi last year and year before last. The state of condition it is in. Must have fallen into the deaf ears of the ‘ we follow SOP’ state government.  Now someone else, possibly a tourist has written about its run down condition. Like the old water infrastructure excuse and poor maintenance, the condition of Batu Ferringhi area might just continue for years to come. They have their Mice, Medical, Georgetown and Gurney Bay tourism etc etc etc, to support their high cost allocation… Read more »

A Rakyat 8

>>> And this is the kind of Political Wayang that has been going on for the past 60 plus years. Not much has changed other than taxing our Rakyat more and more using the same easy way out kind of excuses. “emphasis should be placed not only on improving facilities but in changing the mentality of consumers to ensure that they use the resource prudently” >>> What is SPAN doing about the 40% or so loss of treated water annually due to claim of old infrastructure? How much of waste is this as compared to consumer usage and claim of… Read more »


Rotan not free. still have to buy. If rakyat wants chip chip and pay peanuts, expect to what to get. If one goes to public toilet, one pay for tissue paper and a clean toilet. One dont pay for the waste treatment. The waste treatment is more complicated and costly then unpolluted river water. But our river water has been considered as a dumping ground


We laugh at red dot when they go for new water. After 10 years, they can laugh at us as they are well ahead of us.


Although Penang’s water tariff will go up by 150% starting Feb 1, more than half of its domestic users will only pay the equivalent of RM6.20 per month or RM12.40 every billing cycle, say state officials.

This is because about 52% of consumer accounts never use more than 20,000 litres a month.


Pink dolphin spotted in Penang water.

Watch this video on Facebook


Delay in maintenance work due to funds shortage, says Penang water company.

The Penang Water Supply Corporation says RM180 million in funds to replace old infrastructure was only received recently.


Lim Guan Eng should not have complained so much on this matter. When he was CM, he [allegedly] did not initiate any repair work!


Tell us which needs to repair during his time? If the pipe bursts, then the repair is required immediately. Penang has no $$$ to replace hundreds of km of old pipes. The boss of PBA must initiate any repair work as he looks after water supply. He must inform CM what are the things to repair and the costs. The boss of PBA must look for new water sources as Penang kias have been drink too many teh tarik and kopi or kau kau


Capitalism means evading essential future commitments for assets, etc. For water supply, every state is in the same mess.

PCH Penang Water Security Penang has the highest usage of water in Malaysia. We use 303 liter per capita per day. (Singapore 151 lcd, Selangor 235 lcd ). Penang is a water stressed state. Penang consumes 1260 million liter per day (MLD). In 2030, PBA estimates it will increase to 1483 MLD 80% of our water source comes from one single river – Sungai Muda at about 1000 MLD. This is alarming. Our current water resources is unable to meet 1483 MLD by 2030. Something has to be done. Short Term solutions 1. Conserve water – Penangites must reduce water… Read more »


303 Lpd is really high, double than what is allowed for unless they include water intensive industries. Now red dot has the last laugh. We have to drink our waste. Instead of buried pipelines, PBA should consider above ground.


The water tariff adjustment for domestic users in the peninsula and Labuan will take effect on Feb 1, involving an average increase of 22 sen per cubic metre, the National Water Services Commission (Span) said.


Ketuan thinks we are loaded with water. Actually the world is water stress and we are taking raw water from rivers which are heavily polluted. When we treat our waste water, they are not treated first class. Further our organic waste is mixed with non organic waste. Just look at our rivers. They are kopi or teh tarik kau kau. IF go to Singapore River, the water quality is any time better. Water prices has to go up. Otherwise who wants to save if chip chip?


Domestic water consumers in Penang will have to pay double beginning Feb 1 as the state water authority increases its tariffs.
According to state government official news site Buletin Mutiara, the new tariffs will see consumers charged RM0.50 every cubic metre for the first 20 cubic metres, compared to the current rate of RM0.22.

A Senior

What does your latest Indah water bill say? Was there any prior indication of rates increase?


Should be more as the waste has to be properly treated and no leakages from sewer pipes. At this moment, we have one eye close as no one dares to disturb the pipes. The waste can also leaks into Sg Muda, Sg Selangor where we draw our drinking water


Be thankful and do not waste water.

Good lesson for Penang during water disruption.


Singapore kias use only 100L per day. Water board provides timble to restrict the amount of flow through the tap.


Singapore got Newater, Penang got longkang water? What say you?

White Hawk

Hot weather now dam is losing water.
No rain makes things worse.
Please use water sparingly!

A Rakyat 8

“Everyone entitled to equal access to water, says SPAN chairman”
by Amira Ismail dd 02 Feb 2024, 9:30am

“Charles Santiago says the government is actively tackling water supply problems in Kelantan and hopes the issue will not be politicized.”

and PAS says,

“We chose more important matters over concerts, says PAS man”
by Anne Muhammad dd 02 Feb 2024, 8:30am


>>> Like what, PAS? Is the drinking water cleaner now? How many years have you been governing Kelantan?


looks clean, smell clean, taste clean but contain bacteria and dissolved minerals??