Privatisation on agenda

Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004

Malaysia set to hand over wate (Credit: Puncak Niaga Holdings BHD)The Malaysian government is considering reopening bidding for a multibillion-dollar water treatment concession, providing Prime Minister (pm) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi an opportunity to overhaul the country's often-criticised privatisation programme. The prospective water deal pits French utilities giant Veolia Environnement sa and its partners against Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, a Malaysian water treatment concern.

Should it proceed, the water project will be the first large privatisation contract to be decided by Badawi's seven-month-old government. The pm has promised to curb political favouritism, open contract awards to competitive bidding and promote greater fiscal prudence in managing government finances.

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