PASIR GUDANG – The Federal Government will review the water rates given to Singapore under the Malaysia-Singapore Water Agreement, says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
He said a decision would be made after Malaysia discussed the issue with Singapore.
“We have to wait for the Federal Government and Singapore’s decision,” he said after launching the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) road maintenance project phase one open balloting process here yesterday.
Dr Sahruddin said his recent meeting with Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar was a routine one that he had with every minister on issues affecting Johor.
It was reported last year that the review of water rates was one of the highlights of the talks between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at their Leaders Retreat held in April.
Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying that resolving the long-standing issue of water price review was a priority for Malaysia.
Under the 1962 Johor River Water Agreement, Malaysia is to sell water at three sen for every 1,000 gallons.
In return, Singapore sells treated water back to Johor at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons – an arrangement which Dr Mahathir sees as no longer feasible.
The agreement provides for a review after 25 years, which Malaysia chose not to do in 1987.
Dr Mahathir raised it again in 1998 and both countries agreed to a renegotiation, but years of talks yielded no results.
The Johor River Water Agreement, which allows Singapore to draw up to 250 million gallons a day, expires in 2061.