Mahathir to discuss water pact with S'pore during visit

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to discuss Malaysia's water agreement with Singapore, among other issues, during his visit to the Republic for the 33rd Asean Summit from Nov 11 to 15.

Malaysia Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya said the government was firm in its demand for a review of the price of raw water supplied to the city state, indicating that the matter could be discussed on Nov 12.

"I would like to reiterate that Malaysia's rights to review the price of water cannot be denied," he told Parliament in reply to a question from Barisan Nasional MP Mohd Shahar Abdullah on the status of discussions regarding the water supply agreement with Singapore.

Datuk Marzuki noted that based on the provisions in the 1962 Water Agreement, the price of raw water supplied by the country was three sen (one Singapore cent) per 1,000 gallons and could be reviewed after 25 years. He noted that Singapore's position was that Malaysia lost the right to review the price when it did not do so in 1987. But Malaysia took the view that it is entitled to review the price any time after 25 years.

He said among the steps taken by Malaysia was to make its stand on the matter clearly known during bilateral meetings with Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Dr Mahathir are also due to meet for their annual leaders' retreat in Malaysia, which has been postponed to a date to be agreed upon. The retreat was originally slated for late this month.

Dr Mahathir was reported saying he was not aware of the postponement. But the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur clarified on Tuesday that the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had on Oct 23 informed it of the postponement due to scheduling constraints on the Malaysian side.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline Mahathir to discuss water pact with S'pore during visit. Subscribe