Indah Water Konsortium: Why is the sewerage company interested in ‘race’?


The national obsession with ‘race’ appears to have gone a bit too far. The other day I received, together with the usual bill from national sewerage company Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) a notice about the firm’s personal data protection policy. It was then that I learned that IWK is also interested in ‘race’. Now, I cannot for the life of me understand why ‘race’ should be relevant to a sewerage company, can you?

Excerpt from IWK's Personal Data Protection Notice
Excerpt from IWK’s Personal Data Protection Notice

Does IWK want to compare the per capita ‘output’ by race, by chance? Or maybe it wants to come up with some kind of affirmative action policy? (joke)

As far as I know, ‘race’ has no bearing on the type of ‘output’ that IWK is required to collect, treat and dispose of.

Not only that, the firm wants to share details about race, among other things, with other parties listed out in its notice.

IWK comes under the government (Ministry of Finance). Come to think of it, the IWK database would surely provide valuable nationwide demographics of current household residents. It must surely be one of the most up-to-date government-linked databases containing information of current residents or households.

So I wonder what IWK is using the racial demographics in its database for and who exactly it is sharing such information with.

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Anilwat about job vacancies in penang since 1990 private sector says like this….Race – chinese, ah? Can we stop these.


I had problems of over-billing with IWK for DECADES until recently when they tried to sue me and I just faced them down. They sent lawyers after lawyers at me, even though I nicely tried to resolve the situation each time nicely. Each nice gesture was treated with rude demand of this and that – when the problems are ENTIRELY THEIRS. Basically in my experience, IWK is an organisation that is full of problems, ALL OF IT THEIR OWN, and they don’t know how fix them on their own. So hearing they have committed some insensitivity no surprise to me.… Read more »

Jega KS

I just threw it awayas they already know how to bill me


Jega, it is not a matter of billing, they know to contact you as you yourself admitted. What they want are the names and ICs of everyone living in your house which would be relevant in a constituency delineation exercise. Whether you reply their surveys or not is immaterial, they can and will get the information from other sources.


What most people don’t realise is that IWK regularly sends out agents to verify who are the occupants, not necessarily owners, of houses and commercial properties. I have been asked questions by one such survey before, not just on my house but my 2 immediate neighbours as well who were out. A house rented by 15 Bangladeshi workers would be an interesting statistic for any delineation exercise. Of course, officially IWK says they need to know the race of the owner/occupant so that they can avoid sending notices of overdue charges & letters of demand during religious festivals which could… Read more »


Total rubbish, that is why i said makaysians are easily misled…


Kee, you don’t recognise irony even if it were parked in front of your house!


most companies nowadays requires must be fluent in chinese

SH Tan

On a similar note, our MPPP aduan form also has a mandatory “race” field to be entered. I raised an objection with the MPPP secretary. His reply was I could tick the “others” in the race field if I do not want to disclose my race in the aduan form.


The IWK data which is frequently updated by surveys conducted by their agents could provide very useful data on ethnic demographics in any constituency delineation exercise in most areas of Malaysia except in Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak and Johor Bahru.


I was very angry when i read the Form… they want our personal details for what??? To do vices in the GE14???

I hope no idiot will supply them with their personal details.

Pak Tim

That’s right, don’t give them a s…

Michael Maguire

The only information a sewerage company, or any company for that matter that supplies a service to an individual, is that individuals name and address, the rest is an invasion of privacy. Points to note: An individual may not have a computer, a mobile phone or a home phone, but has a toilet and is therefore, in the interests of community, required to share in the cost of supplying sewerage lines to individual homes. The rest of the requirements as outlined in the Indah Water Company ‘privacy policy’ is a load of sewerage and best flushed down the toilet. Isn’t… Read more »


Yes, “human” is what I usually put when asked racist questions. Time for INDAH to revise its questionnaire. Well spotted, Anil.

najib manaukau

What you s… might not be (clean), that is why they want to know who you are !


Maybe they think that sewerage from different groups of people needs to be treated differently. (That’s supposed to be a joke, by the way.)

Does it make it easier if you simply write ‘Human’ on forms that ask you to identify your race?