Singapore responds to Mahathir on water issue

Both Singapore and Malaysia have to comply fully with the 1962 water agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday in response to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has said he plans to renegotiate the deal.

The 1962 pact, which expires in 2061, is a "fundamental" agreement guaranteed by both governments in the 1965 treaty drawn up when both sides separated, said MFA.

Singapore is entitled to draw up to 250 million gallons a day (mgd) of raw water from the Johor River. In return, Johor is entitled to a daily supply of treated water of up to 2 per cent, or 5mgd, of raw water supplied to Singapore. Singapore pays 3 sen per thousand gallons of raw water, and sells treated water back to Johor at 50 sen per thousand gallons.

In media interviews, Tun Dr Mahathir criticised the price of the water sold to Singapore as "ridiculous".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore responds to Mahathir on water issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe