Natural resources minister announces ex-Klang MP’s appointment for 2023-2025 term

KUALA LUMPUR – Former Klang MP Charles Santiago has been re-appointed as chairman of the National Water Services Commission (SPAN). The announcement was made today by Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who said his appointment applies to the 2023-2025 term.

Nik Nazmi also said he hoped the new leadership in Span would assist the commission to implement its Water Sector Transformation (WST 2040) initiative.

“I believe that this leadership will be able to drive SPAN to continue to be a progressive, proactive and respected organization in regulating water services in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan, based on their experience in their respective fields of expertise.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the previous members of the commission who have carried out their duties with dedication,” Nik Nazmi said in a statement. Santiago’s re-appointment comes three years after he was sacked from the position on April 10, 2020, following the infamous Sheraton Move.

At the time, Santiago – who was first appointed as SPAN chairman in November 2018 – claimed he was terminated by then Environment and Water Minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, adding that all commissioners were dismissed from their posts.

Subsequently, Santiago was replaced by PAS’ Dungun MP Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli.

In September last year, Santiago urged SPAN to play a decisive role in resolving the spat between Penang and Kedah over the former’s right to access water coming from the Ulu Muda basin and flowing through its own borders.

He said that the commission needed to buck up by showing crucial leadership over the issue. The dispute threatens to ruin the economy of the neighbouring states if no proper solution is in place in the long term, he warned.

Santiago added that investors would shun both states if basic requirements such as power and water are not handled properly, especially for the needs of the manufacturing sector.

– The Vibes, March 27, 2023

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