,The concept of riparian rights appears to be lost on Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor, said Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.He said this after Sanusi continued to insist that Penang should pay Kedah raw water charges for drawing from Sungai Muda and suggested that Penang may find the waters there turning muddy if it didn't.Sungai Muda begins in Kedah but as it flows towards the Straits of Malacca, the river sits on the border of Kedah and Penang. Penang has been drawing water from its side of the border."Since water for Penang is drawn from the lower end of Sungai Muda, within the boundary of Penang, the concept of riparian rights is applicable.“This inalienable right is enshrined in the Federal Constitution of the country. Unfortunately, the meaning and application of riparian rights are not something digested by Sanusi," Ramasamy (above) said.In common law, riparian right allows owners whose land adjoin a body of water to make reasonable use of them. The water also cannot be transferred out without considering people downstream.The concept is recognised in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution as an item under state jurisdiction.The Penang government has refused to entertain Sanusi's demands and instead said it was prepared to defend its riparian rights in court.Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md NorHowever, Sanusi is seeking the federal government to mediate in an arbitration. The Penang government is firm about defending the matter in court if Kedah were to initiate legal action.Doubling down on his demand, Sanusi said Kedah was implementing many projects that could affect the water flow in Sungai Muda.“These projects when implemented will pose a problem for them if they don’t pay."Never mind, they can use it, until the time comes when muddy water flows out, then they can use that water," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.Ramasamy, who is also the Perai assemblyperson and Batu Kawan MP, said he could not see how Sanusi could make the correlation."I am still cracking my head to see the relationship between the non-payment of water charges and how it leads to the flow of muddy water," he said."Economic jingoism bordering on muddied thoughts on the part of the misinformed Sanusi might do more harm to his own people in the state."Sanusi should not waste time in provoking the state government of Penang," he added.Ramasamy said Kedah should instead focus on the states own water woes as there is a shortage in some parts of the state. In the meantime, Ramasamy said Penang is also working on getting raw water from various sources, including Sungai Perak and other rivers in Penang.rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"This not to mention the future possibility of the conversion of seawater and the need to conserve rainwater," he said.
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