GEORGE TOWN: A 1985 law allows Penang to draw water from its side of the Sungai Muda without having to pay Kedah, where the river passes through first. Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) CEO Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said the Kedah and Penang (Alteration of Boundary) Act 1985 was passed after both state governments signed a 1982 agreement to place the boundary of the two states in the middle of the river. He said Penang and Kedah subsequently promulgated state enactments which placed the boundary at the centre line of the river. “It is illogical for anyone in Kedah to suggest that Penang should pay for raw water drawn from a river that is partly located on its own (Penang) soil,” he said in a statement today. Jaseni was responding to Kedah Legislature opposition leader Datuk Amirruddin Hamzah who reportedly said Kedah had the right to impose charges on Penang for drawing water. As part of the agreement to redraw the boundary, Jaseni noted Penang had surrendered 10.88ha of land to Kedah to facilitate the Penang Water Supply Project (PWSP) to guarantee water to the state. He said the guarantee was needed to facilitate the approval of an Asian Development Bank loan for the PWSP implementation. “Penang agreed to the realignment of state boundaries and the surrender of land as concessions to secure Kedah’s water guarantee (so) that guarantee stands to this day,” he stressed. He said Penang will definitely support any application from Kedah for federal funds to protect the Greater Ulu Muda catchments. Protecting the catchments will benefit a combined population of 3.8 million people in Penang, Kedah and Perlis and so is deserving of federal funds, he added. “Kedah should gazette Greater Ulu Muda area as a water catchment to protect an important natural heritage in the northern region,” he added.