State government denied would be taking drastic measures including cutting water supply against the resettled native communities in Sg. Asap over reports that they owed the government a whooping RM2 million in outstanding water charges.

Instead, according to Minister of Public Utilities Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, he will dispatch his ministry officers to hold dialogues with the 2000 residents who have yet to settle their utility charges.

“As the government, we won’t take any drastic action including cutting off water their supply instead we will hold a dialogue in a proper manner with the communities involved,” he said as reported by Utusan Borneo on Thursday.

Awang Tengah was asked for his comment on Bernama news report yesterday that 2000 residents in Sg. Asap Resttlement Scheme have been given an ultimatum by Bintulu Public Works Department until Dec 16, to settle some RM2 million outstanding utility bills or their water supply will be terminated.

The minister said many of the residents thought that they were not required to pay for the water supplied to their homes when they move into the area almost a decade ago.

He however insisted that the actual amount per households need to pay is much smaller as some have settled their bills.

When asked if the government will stop supplying water on Dec 16 as reported by Bernama, Awang Tengah replied “That’s just a date … the important thing is we want to have a dialogue with them, so that they will understand. We have already spent so much,”