JOHOR BARU, Nov 12 — The Johor government is ready to act as a mediator between the federal government and Singapore for the negotiations pertaining to the 1962 Water Agreement, said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
He said the Johor government could assist in view of the good relations between Johor and Singapore and hoped that this issue could be resolved effectively and prudently.
“I learned about Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Xavier Jayakumar’s statement that Malaysia has the right to revise raw water price to Singapore.
“I see this as a positive development for Johor, and we hope this agreement will help the state. When water prices rise, the state’s revenue will also rise,” he told reporters after a special interview on the State Budget 2020 with RTM at the Sultan Iskandar Information and Broadcasting Complex, near here, today.
He said this when asked to comment on Xavier’s statement today saying Singapore’s claims that Malaysia has lost the right to review the price of raw water were incorrect.
Asked about the price of water that would be considered as reasonable, Dr Sahruddin said the price of water in the existing agreement was too low.
“Whatever the price (to be decided), it’s important to obtain the agreement from both Singapore and us (Malaysia). We hope we can get the best price,” he said.
Xavier was earlier quoted as saying that Singapore’s claims that Malaysia has lost the right to review the price of water under the 1962 Water Agreement, after not reviewing the prices in 1982 and 2012, were incorrect.
Instead, Xavier said, the Attorney General’s Chambers had confirmed that under clause 14 of the 1962 Water Agreement it was stated that water price revision could be made every year after the agreement was signed.
In early April, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to find an amicable solution to the issue over the supply of water between the two countries, including the possibility of dispute resolution through arbitration on a mutually agreed basis.
Under the 1962 Water Agreement which expires in 2061, Singapore could extract 250 million gallons per day (mgd) of raw water from the Sungai Johor at only RM0.03 per 1,000 gallons while Johor then to purchase treated water from the republic at RM0.50 per 1,000 gallons. — Bernama