M’sia-S’pore to continue talks on water

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Foreign ministers of Malaysia and Singapore did not make any significant progress on the issue of reviewing the price of water sold to the republic from Johor in the latest round of discussions held.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (picture) and his counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in a joint press conference in Putrajaya yesterday said the attorney generals (AGs) of both countries will continue discussions to resolve the dispute.

“Both sides have differing views on the right to review the price of water under the 1962 Water Agreement. Both of us have agreed that AGs of Malaysia and Singapore will continue their discussion to better understand each other’s position on the right to review the price of water under the agreement,” Balakrishnan said in Putrajaya yesterday.

Saifuddin said Malaysia is committed to resolve bilateral issues in a constructive manner and encourage ongoing diplomatic efforts to find an amicable solutions for mutual interests.

The 1962 Water Agreement, which would lapse in 2061, entitles Singapore to buy 250 million gallons of water a day from Johor, at three sen for every 1,000 gallons.

In return, Johor buys back treated water from Singapore, of up to 2% of the raw water it supplied, at 50 sen for every 1,000 gallons.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated the current price is too cheap and called for a review.