M’sia-S’pore must comply fully with provisions of water deal

Singapore • The 1962 Water Agreement is a fundamental agreement that was guaranteed by both governments in the 1965 Separation Agreement, which was registered with the United Nations.

Both sides must comply fully with all the provisions of these agreements, according to Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.

The ministry’s spokesperson was responding to media queries on Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments on water supply deal with the republic. In an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin, Dr Mahathir reportedly criticised the 1962 water supply deal with Singapore as “too costly”. Water is among issues with Singapore “that we need to settle”.

“We will sit down and talk with them, like civilised people,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said he has no knowledge of reports relating to the involvement of tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan and T7 Global Bhd in the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

“I don’t know about that. I can’t comment. You should ask Vincent Tan,” he said at a press briefing yesterday when asked to comment on whether the government would reconsider continuing the ECRL project because of Tan’s involvement.

Dr Mahathir said he was alright with the idea to build the railway, but stressed that the cost should be reduced and that is why the government is renegotiating the terms of the project with the Chinese government.

He said the current terms undertaken by the previous government are not good for Malaysia, which among others entailed that the money should be paid regardless of the construction progress.

“All these terms need to be renegotiated, and if we get better terms, of course we will continue, but we hope to reduce costs a lot because of a lot of wrong things being done.

“…We want to gain something for Malaysia,” he said. — Bernama