JOHOR BAHRU (Bernama) – Malaysia has the right to submit a new rate on the sale price of raw water set for Singapore, Johor Opposition Leader Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said.
The former State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman said this had been confirmed by the attorney-general.
In fact, he said revisions to the existing sales rates were also allowed under the agreement signed between Singapore and Malaysia.
“Thus, the state government (Johor) does not need to worry. I believe Tun Mahathir (Prime Minister) has the political will to implement this claim, although it is likely that Singapore will link it to the Pulau Batu Puteh issue as well as raise the price of treated water that Singapore supplies to Johor,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He was commenting on the intention of the Johor state government to raise the price of raw water sold to the republic to a reasonable rate and in line with the current situation.
According to Menteri Besar Osman Sapian, the new price was likely to be the same as the raw water sale rate set for the Melaka government of 50 cents per 1,000 gallons. But the decision on the move had not been reached so far, even though it had been discussed with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Under the 1962 Malaysian-Singapore water deal ending in 2061, Malaysia supplied Singapore with 250 million gallons of raw water daily at three cents per 1,000 gallons.
Malaysia then re-purchased part of the supply that Singapore has received and treated at 50 cents per 1,000 gallons.
On Monday, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was reported as saying that it (Singapore) would fully abide by the terms of the water agreement with Malaysia including the water price under the agreement and hoped Malaysia would do so.
This is because the agreement, he said, was not an ordinary agreement as it was guaranteed by Singapore and Malaysia under the Separation Agreement 1965 which was later registered with the United Nations.
Any breach would cause the Separation Agreement, which was the basis for the existence of Singapore as an independent, sovereign nation, to be questioned.