Kedah MB Muhammed Sanusi Md Nor is ready to negotiate with Penang government officials on how much the latter could pay for drawing raw water from Sungei Muda.
Whether it is going to be 10 sen per cubic meter or more or less will depend on negotiations with Penang government.
However, the Penang government has made it very clear that it would not pay single cent to Kedah for drawling water from its side of Sungei Muda.
Sanusi told Bernama News that he is not willing to take contributions from Penang as suggested by his party leader and the current Minister of Environment and Water, Tuan Ibrahim bin Tuan Man.
He said that he is not prepared to accept contributions as they are voluntary and irregular whereas payments are what Penang owes Kedah.
In the water dispute between Kedah and Penang, Tuan Ibrahim had suggested that Penang comes with some contributions to meet the costs of protecting water catchment areas in the Ulu Muda region.
Sanusi (pic) clearly stated that he wants Penang to pay raw water charges for water intake from the Sungei Muda. However, the Penang government is consistent on its position.
It would not pay a single cent to Kedah for drawing raw water from Sungei Muda.
There is no indication that it will make contributions either.
There will be no negotiations or even discussions with Kedah government if the water rights of Penang are not respected.
Why should Penang pay for taking water from its side of the Sungei Muda.
Inter-state agreements have clearly stipulated the Penang is entitled to its share of water.
Moreover, the concept of riparian rights clearly endorses the water rights of Penang to draw from its side of Sungei Muda.
It is not that Penang is taking water from Kedah.
The middle-line of the Sungei Muda demarcates the boundary of Kedah and Penang.
Riparian water rights as legitimatised by the Constitution endows states to use water if the source is located within the boundary.
There are legal precedents and court decisions in the past that clearly and unequivocally establishes the right of states or countries to have equal share of a common water source.
Given this, on what basis does Sanusi demands raw water charges from Penang.
He has no legal or even constitutional basis.
Sanusi might say that since Sungei Muda originates from the Ulu Muda area of Kedah, water belongs to the state.
While the bulk of water might originate from Kedah, there some would say that the origins could even be traced to the hills of southern Kedah.
If this is so, then is Sanusi prepared to pay raw water charges to the Thai government?
He is just a loud mouth MB who is not knowledgeable about water rights and why he cannot demand payment from Penang.
Unless of course, he is playing politics to get funds from the federal government.
His threat of logging and mining of rare earth elements are antics to divert attention from the numerous problems that the PAS government is facing in Kedah.