HOW WOULD IMPROVED REGULATION AND GOVERNANCE OF WATER SERVICES INDUSTRY ENABLES MALAYSIA TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABILITY IN WATER SUPPLY

  • Muhammad Nazrul bin Abd Rani

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Abstract

This research critically examines the regulatory and governance frameworks of water supply services in Malaysia, focusing on the principles of good governance. By comparing these frameworks with Victoria, Australia, and conducting a detailed case study in Perlis, Malaysia, this study evaluates the effectiveness of Malaysia's water supply services reform, including the transition to corporatisation. It investigates how these reforms align with the principles of good governance, such as transparency, accountability, and public participation, which are essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.1, ensuring universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water. The thesis identifies significant gaps in Malaysia's current framework, particularly in relation to transparency, public participation, and the ambiguity surrounding tariff-setting mechanisms. It contrasts these findings with practices in Victoria, where a robust governance model, supported by specific legislation tailored to the water sector, enables greater public engagement and operational transparency. This comparative analysis highlights the limitations of Malaysia's corporatisation model, particularly regarding the roles and influence of political figures on water operator boards, which can hinder effective governance and service delivery. This research proposes two crucial reforms for Malaysia: the enactment of a Water Supply Governance Act and a Water Services Industry (Tariff Setting) Regulation. These reforms aim to address identified deficiencies by establishing a governance framework that promotes accountability, enhances consumer protection, and facilitates public participation in tariff-setting processes. The thesis argues that such changes are essential for the sustainability and efficiency of water supply services in Malaysia, contributing to broader sustainable development goals. This study contributes significantly to the discourse on water governance, providing actionable recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders in Malaysia and potentially similar contexts. It emphasises the importance of integrating good governance principles into the regulatory frameworks governing water supply services as a foundation for achieving sustainability and meeting the SDGs.
Date of Award2024
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSarah Hendry (Supervisor) & Emanuela Lecchi (Supervisor)

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