Charles Santiago new SPAN chairman?


Three-term lawmaker Charles Santiago is expected to be named as the new chairman of the National Water Service Commission (SPAN).

Charles, who is the Klang MP since 2008, is expected to take charge of the commission from next month, a source close to the development told The Malaysian Reserve.

The appointment has been approved by Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar, the source added.

“The appointment has been confirmed by the minister, just awaiting the final consent from Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad).”

Charles would be replacing former Simpang Renggam MP Datuk Liang Teck Meng, who resigned after the historic 14th General Election.

SPAN is a technical and economic regulatory body for the water supply and sewerage services in Peninsular Malaysia, Putrajaya and Labuan.

It regulates all entities in the water supply and sewerage services industry, including public and private water supply and sewerage services operators, water supply and sewerage contractors, permit holders and suppliers of water and sewerage products.

SPAN regulates the water services industry in accordance to the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655), which was enforced on Jan 1, 2008.

Charles, 58, is a DAP member and prior to politics, he was an economist and served as a director of Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation, a research body that promotes companies which creates a sustainable livelihood community. He was also a coordinator for Coalition Against Water Privatisation, which represents some 127 non-governmental organisations.