How Much Does Water Cost in Malaysia?

In light of the recent news that Selangor and the Federal States' water supply might get more expensive, we check out how much the rest of the country is paying for their water supply.

Have you heard about the potential hike in water tariffs? For our readers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, you can expect to pay a little more for your water soon due to some corporate restructuring.

However, unlike other price increases this isn't one we can just avoid or try to find alternatives to. Everybody needs water and it costs money to deliver, install, and maintain the infrastructure necessary to get it to people. So if we're made to pay more for our water soon, how have our neighbours in the rest of the country doing? Are they paying less or more? Let's find out.

We'll start with Ringgitplus' main headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Serviced by SYABAS who also supplies water to our neighbours in Selangor, our rates are as follows.

Selangor and Federal Territories of KL and Putrajaya

Supplier: Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS)

Minimum Payment = RM6.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.57 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM1.03 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM2.00 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM13.98 (the average monthly figure as reported by SPAN)

Now let's take a look at the Federated States and how they're faring as far as water service costs go. While the other states have no plans to raise the water tariffs, Negeri Sembilan raised them on the 21st of May last year for commercial and industrial sectors by 70%. This doesn't affect domestic use, of course.

Perak

Supplier: Lembaga Air Perak (LAP)

Minimum Payment = RM3.00
0 – 10m3 = RM0.30 /m3
11 – 20m3 = RM0.70 /m3
Over 20m3 = RM1.03 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM12.6

Pahang

Supplier: Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (PAIP)

Minimum Payment = RM3.00
0 – 18m3 = RM0.37 /m3
19 – 45m3 = RM0.79 /m3
Over 45m3 = RM0.99 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM10.22 (corrected by SPAN from RM10.20)

Negeri Sembilan

Supplier: Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS)

Minimum Payment = RM5.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.55 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM0.85 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM1.40 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM13

What about the Unfederated States of peninsula Malaysia? Perlis's water has recently been taken over by Syarikat Air Perlis from JKR Perlis on the 1st January of 2015. This hasn't jacked up their tariffs. However, Johor recently increased their water price back in August of 2015.

Johor

Supplier: Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ)

Minimum Payment = RM7.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.80 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM2.00 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM3.00 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) plus minimum payment = RM21

Kelantan

Supplier: Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd

Minimum Payment = RM4.50
0 – 20m3 = RM0.45 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM0.97 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM1.42 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM11.4

Terengganu

Supplier: Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (SATUWater)

Minimum Payment = RM4.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.42 /m3
20.1 – 40m3 = RM0.65 /m3
40.1 – 60m3 = RM0.90 /m3
Over 60m3 = RM1.00 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM10

Kedah

Supplier: Syarikat Air Darul Aman (SADA)

Minimum Payment = RM6.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.40 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM0.70 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM1.10 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM12.25 (figure and tariff rate corrected by SPAN)

Perlis

Supplier: Syarikat Air Perlis (SAP)

Minimum Payment = RM3.00
0 – 15m3 = RM0.40 /m3
16 – 25m3 = RM0.70 /m3
Over 25m3 = RM1.10 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM11.3

Now let's take a look at the former Straits Settlement states (excluding Singapore, of course). Penang recently hiked their tariffs too in April of last year (2015). So did Malacca since January 2016 but not for domestic use.

Penang

Supplier: Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP)

Minimum Payment = RM2.50
0 – 20m3 = RM0.22 /m3
21 – 40m3 = RM0.46 /m3
41 – 60m3 = RM0.68 /m3
61 – 200m3 = RM1.17 /m3
Over 200m3 = RM1.30 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM5.55 (figure corrected by SPAN from RM5.00)

Malacca

Supplier: Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB)

Minimum Payment = RM6.00
0 – 20m3 = RM0.60 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM0.95 /m3
Over 35m3 = RM1.45 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM14.4

Our stately neighours to the East function a little bit differently. Since they occupy a lot more real estate, Sarawak has three corporate entities managing their water supply. All of them conveniently have the same rate, though. Sabah has just one supplier.

Sarawak

Suppliers: Kuching, Kuching City Water Board (KWB); Sibu, Sibu Water Board (SWB); Miri, Bintulu, and Limbang, LAKU Management. These rates only apply to Kuching, Sibu, Sri Aman, Miri, Limbang, Sarikei and Kapit.

Minimum Payment = RM4.40
0 – 15m3 = RM0.48 /m3
16 – 50m3 = RM0.72 /m3
Over 50m3 = RM0.76 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM12.6

Sabah

Supplier: Sabah State Water Department

Minimum Payment = RM3.00
0 – 10m3 = RM0.30 /m3
11 – 20m3 = RM0.60 /m3
21 – 35m3 = RM1.10 /m3
36 – 60m3 = RM1.30 /m3
Over 60m3 = RM1.80 /m3
Average monthly water bill (22.5m3) = RM11.8

Here's a handy table for you to see the rough average monthly cost of water across all the states and territories of Malaysia:

State Average Monthly Bill (in RM)
Kuala Lumpur 15.4
Selangor 15.4
Perak 12.6
Pahang 10.2
Negeri Sembilan 13
Johor 21
Kelantan 11.4
Terengganu 10
Kedah 18
Perlis 11.3
Penang 5
Malacca 14.4
Sarawak 12.6
Sabah 11.8

As it turns out, there's quite a bit of difference between how much each state chooses to charge their citizens as far as water is concerned. One thing to remember though is that plenty of these places have had recent tariff hikes as well, and for a number of the states, the hikes do not affect regular domestic users.

Hopefully with this information, we can all see the latest news on tariff fluctuations with a wider perspective, at least, as far as water is concerned. If you're looking for ways to save up so you can afford the higher water prices coming soon, check out our 5 ways to catch up on savings article.

Do you have any other concerns about price hikes, utility pricing, or anything else you feel we need to know? Share them with us in the comments section down below!

[UPDATE: 3/3/2016] - Figures and rates have been changed at SPAN (Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negera)'s request

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  • Jason Lim

    Penang our pride

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