Singapore-Johor relationship has always been friendly

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (right) met with Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan 8, 2019.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (right) met with Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan 8, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

Not for the first time, it appears that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad would like to instigate anti-Singapore sentiment among Johoreans by raising the water issue yet again (Mahathir urges Johor to speak up against S'pore water pact, March 1).

The relationship between Johor and Singapore over the buying and selling of raw and treated water, even in times of excess rainfall and drought, has always been friendly, accommodating, mutually beneficial and born out of goodwill.

In fact, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim even thanked the Singapore Government last year for helping the Malaysian state during droughts, and called the Republic "a neighbour and a friend" (Johor Prince thanks S'pore for help during droughts, June 30, 2018).

Pacts and agreements count for everything in a civilised world where a country's declared word cannot be changed on a whim without proper international tribunal adjudication, unless the country wants to be declared an international pariah.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore-Johor relationship has always been friendly'. Print Edition | Subscribe