Tuesday 7 September 2010


I was going to blog about something else but having read about the Semenyih water treatment plant has been closed due to contamination … I felt it was time to blog about this topic

Taking a step back, a lot of Malaysians are making fun of Singaporeans because here, the water coming out from the tap is actually processed from the sewage, hence the you-drink-processed-pee-water jeers…Actually, I thought there was a scandal a few years ago about a contract of water sold to Singapore for cheap. So I can't really make up why water here is processed from sewage.

Anyway… Scientifically speaking, and as pointed out by bro Johnson, the reverse-osmosis processed water is one of the purest ever.

Yes, Malaysians do not need to drink processed pee-water. But how sure are you that the water in Malaysia is clean?

A doctor friend of mine once told me he has patients who can't drink KL water because it is so dirty and they have to take water from Ipoh or Johor for consumption purposes. Indeed, the pipes carrying water underneath KL is rusted beyond recognition. If you don’t have a water filter, you will be literally drinking rust.

Coming back to the news on the Semenyih treatment plant… when such things happen in Malaysia… I can't help but think to myself…

How long has it been before the contamination was discovered? Are the engineers inspecting the plant of the same quality of the MACC lawyer? And if you remember, the head of the Malaysian meteorological department once said something to the effect… “There’s haze doesn’t mean it’s hazy…”

And when they declare the water is safe consumption… is it really safe? I am sure many have heard about stories about how chocolates and biscuits were not withdrawn from Malaysian shelves during the China melamine scandal but the same goods were withdrawn from the shelves of other countries.

In a country where money equals “boleh”, it really made me think…

In the past 5 years, I have also observed that there will be news about certain consumer products (particularly bread) being found to contain dangerous amount of chemicals… and a few days later, all will be forgotten with no follow up.

Yeah, me together with other people here in Singapore may be drinking processed pee-water, but I think it’s definitely cleaner and more importantly, safer than water back home.


Klaw said...

Actually, we Malaysians just take this opportunity to make fun of Singaporeans, because secretly, we're jealous.

That's me speaking for myself actually :)

day-dreamer said...

I believe the government administration as well as the technology in Singapore will ensure that the water there is safe for consumption, even though it's formerly pee water. Haha.

Jorji said...

Thanks for the wishes. :)

what do think about tV3 punya iklan raya?


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

it is forever never ending la..read about the contamination..as it is most msians have one if not 2 filters b4 attempting to even drink the water, so i say, go ahead and drink processed pee pee water!

Passby said...

Who doesn't know the water in bodohland is dirty and filled with rust?

Who doesn't know everything here sucks big time?

You don't have to remind us because we experience it everyday.

Now that you are at a better place, you should be focusing all your energy and time on that instead of looking back at this shit hole.

Okay I'm off to enjoy my char kueh teow and if my stomach permits maybe some bak kut teh as well :D

Have a nice day.

iamthewitch said...

Argh the water at my home tastes like Rust! Yuck! I have resorted to buying drinking water and carrying them back home. So heavy ok! I don't care if it's pee water as long as it doens't taste or look like it!

missironic said...

From my observation, my skin feels better when im in malacca but when im in kl, it doesnt look too good. So yeah, i tink its the cause of the KL water.... anyhow, as long as what's coming out frm the tap is clean to consume, tats the most important thing!

norick said...

I agree with Passby.. This also applied to your previous entry on the 'Those videos shouldn't make you laugh'.

We are well aware of what we are facing which is deteriorating day by day but no one is good enough to lead a change to the country..

I'm still patiently hoping the day to come..hopefully not till the day i die.. haih..

InjusticeSistem said...

U did not hear dis from me ok......
Water plant contamination dirty water etc etc, is done on purpose...

1. u buy more water filter,dis company mk more $$$,can gv more funds to amno
2. dirty water rusted pipes, gomen got excuse can use more $$$ to repair/change pipes build more water plants,bumi kontraktor get inflated direct tender, in return can gv more funds to amno,submarine cant dive,so water treatment plant cant treat water,so buy more submarine n build more water plant la....comprende?
3. drinkin dirty water mk u more stupid n less healthy, wen u r stupid n sick u mk less $$$,so u spend more time working/slaving instead of candlelight vigil n street protest

im taking a big risk giving u dis info,u better mk sure u mk gd use of it....over n out

Deepthroat aka Anal-ysed aka Up-mine aka Sleeper Cell aka Sleepin on da Job.....

Pinknpurplelizard said...

It's a conspiracy to sell more bottled water and filter systems!!!

I used to live in a house where the water was rain water stored in tanks. It was more refreshing than piped hard water.

Pure Aqua, Inc said...

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane.

Reverse Osmosis

fufu said...

glad you can enjoy the purest water in the world there... i have pimples after drinking the water in europe... but now in latin amerika.... gotta buy mineral water >< sigh

ZACL said...

Hi Zewt,

This type of 'discussion' has surfaced in the U.K. from time to time. I can remember a government minister showing us on TV that the water was good enough to drink, drank a glass, then was given a full analysis of what he had just been drinking. Essentially liquid with a load of unclean elements in it. The sales of bottled water shot up.

We also have very old lead water pipes serving domestic homes. There has been a lot of work over a few decades now, to change the pipes. There are so many of them everywhere, it will take a long time to complete the job.

Recycled water is a running joke, but like you say, treated and purified, it is probably safer to use than lots of other water.

TG said...

I never drank water from the tap in Asia... well, only in Seoul and Taipei, but Malaysia and Singapore definitely not. I just didn't like the smell, sometimes (in Malaysia) the color.. plus many Malaysians themselves would advise me not to drink it. I have high standards for water, Slovenia is full of mountains and our water is very clean. At home we have our own well, the water I drink comes from the forest near the house. Been all around the world and water never tasted better than at home.

Jerine said...

It's actually, "It is hazy, but that doesn't mean there's haze".

Huei said...

ahh crap! now u got me thinking MORE about the stupid water. i'm more worried about my pets actually. how the hell can they "uncontaminate" the water so fast!?

oh btw have u seen the water pouring out when plumbers fix the leakage right on the pump that leads water into your house? the plumbers i met once even made fun n told me the water is teh ais!

ZACL said...

We used to have lovely sweet water where I live. The source was changed, it was further away from the community. Because the water was going a greater distance through pipes, it was extra treated for human consumption and safety. We were told it was not, but our taste buds told us a different story.

Sometimes when the pipes cleaned, it takes a day or so, the water is not consumable, it full of peat, you can see it by the colour.

To set the matter in context, our water is good, apart from pipe cleaning days. I would not complain about that, it is a safety measure. We still have 'soft' water. What has happened is, we have lost the sweet tasting water we used to have.

cat said...

Frankly, pollution is at large worldwide and clean water is really a global issue. It seems like the Malaysian government is more concerned about the economic growth of the country rather than the health and well-being of its citizens. It will only be a matter of time before Malaysia catches up to the developed countries' standards of infrastructure and hygiene. Hopefully it won't be too late for us by then.

amanda said...

wonder whats next ...

Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

I'm not sure if cleanliness here also refers to hardness of the water which measures the content of hardness ion (Mg2+ and Ca2+). Apparently, the hardness of potable water sent to consumers in MY is 30ppm which is the same as in SG based on info I gathered from water treatment companies when I was still a project executive. In Thailand, the potable water seriously is not safe to drink without the water softening process as typical hardness ~ 100 ppm. I don't know how home consumers do it but our dairy factory required a softening process for the in-coming water supply which was not a necessity to produce the same product in our Malaysian factory.

I'd say Malaysia's water is still fine and Singapore is just simply great to reuse their treated waste water.

Anonymous said...

'how are you ?'
" i'm in the well, tankyou !"

well water is the BEST lah .

John Ling said...

Malaysia is wholly unique in that nearly all its disasters are manmade rather than natural. Just saying.

mlm said...

It's really great post for water.I think water is most important thing for every one therefore need to clean our ponds and river...web design noida

eiling lim said...

You made a point! I was thinking to myself when I read the news was how come these officers are so alert to realise that the ammonia level was high? Maybe someone died from drinking them? lol... I dodn't believe that they are that efficient!

zewt said...

Klaw - i know... cause i am also malaysians mah...

day-dreamer - yup... precisely.

j or ji - i think you guys have a right to make noise... honestly.

constantly craving joe - that's why... the water in KL is ... really shite. good for you man... melbourne water is good.

passby - char kuey teow fried with shitty water? :P

iamthewitch - the thing is... i have a feeling the govt doesnt really care about giving malaysians clean water.

zewt said...

missironic - yup, that's what my ipoh friends say too!

norick - mate, why dont you take the lead?

InjusticSistem - hehehehe... i am sure all your points there are hard facts :P

pinknpurplelizard - not when the environment has changed... acid rain liz!

pure - good to know.

fufu - latin america!! when is your merdeka project starting la.

zewt said...

ZACL - i think for a developed country like britain, the pipes are definitely very old and need replacement. anyhow, i trust the british water treatment better than my country.

MKL - i should go there and have a taste of your mountain liquid :)

Jerine - ahhh... i am old already :P

Huei - teh ais... luckily not milo.

yileen - negative, i think they are more concerned about money and killing ppl in custody and defending the special rights of certain race for personal interest.

zewt said...

Akira - hmmm... i seriously need to read up about this water hardness thingy.

anon @ 10/9 5.45am - nowadays, where got well in city lah.

John Ling - it's called act of god mate :)

mlm - thanks.

eiling lim - some things they are efficient... like catching ppl smooching in the park.

vincent said...

I haven't read your blog in ages and was blog hopping and found this.

To be honest, it is annoying that you choose to diss an industry or a bunch of people you know nothing about, and choose instead to listen to stories from friends.

Most water treatment plants have online analysers that detect as soon as the chemical contents, pH, etc spike above the acceptable limit. As someone mentioned before, the limits set are SAME as Singapore. So instead of thanking the engineers for doing a good job, you choose to wonder if their incompetence meant that they delayed the announcement.

As for the rusted pipes, what has that got to do with the treatment plants? The plants treat the water and send it to consumers through the pipes which they obviously have no control over. If the pipes in your area are rusted, take that beef up with your MP!

I think what is most annoying, as someone part of this system, when the public service department does a good job, nobody EVER says thank you (point in case here). When something goes wrong, people blame their incompetence.

Where are all the 'competent' people? Working in the private sector bitching about things like this, never once considering to be part of the solution.

pavlova said...

In response to the above comment:

When has the public system EVER done a good job? ( i presume you're talking about the Msian system)

And even if so, it is EXPECTED that the public system to do a bloody good job. Our tax money goes to your system. The public (should) expect no less.

In an industry as such, where a public's health is at risk, there can be NO screw up. None whatsoever. Doesn't matter if there is a small mistake or one of the process was contaminated.
You just can't afford a screw up.

So yeah, sorry, until such day when the public system has shown to have much result and competency then yeah I can perhaps start praising the public system.
But until such day comes, I'm sorry, the taxpayers are allowed to complain.

John Ling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Ling said...

Per head of population, Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of public servants in the world. Sadly, many citizens are still locked in a feudal mentality and
continue to make excuses for the bloat, the inefficiency and the corruption. Even worse, some even have the cheek to suggest that we should all bow our heads and chant 'Ampuan, Tuanku' in return for being shortchanged over and over.

This is unbecoming of a country that aspires to be fully developed nation by 2020. In fact, it's downright laughable.

I happen to be part of the public service in New Zealand, and we get scolded and criticised and dumped on for every little thing. Much of it is unfair, true, but it keeps us on our toes, and it keeps us honest. Because, ultimately, the public system does not exist to be thanked. It exists to perform, to serve and to be held accountable.

But if citizens are content only to be serfs, satisfied only to nibble on the measely crumbs tumbling off the dining tables of their lords, well, then I'm sorry to say, crumbs are all that they will get. But, truly, they deserve so much more.

zewt said...

vincent - i am referring to the processed pee water point when i was talking about the pipes. i dunno the procedure and controls in the treatment plant... which makes me don trust them even more... cause it's malaysia. yeah, i am bias... cant help it.

pavlova - exactly :)

John Ling - well, the public servants are votes breeding ground, and to make sure certain group of ppl are happy, giving the impression that the govt is looking after them... sad.

MLM Software said...

Thanks for sharing a wonderful article. Water is most important thing in everybody's life.

MLM Software said...

This post is superb. Usually I am not fond to read but today I got such a nice post. It is very informative for me. I am exciting about your next post. Keep it continue.

Ampac USA said...

Ampac USA advanced water purification systems are built to solve the most complex challenges related to water purification, treatment, provisioning and Seawater Desalination, meant to work in the harshest environments around the globe.