KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia still has the right to revise the price of water supplied to Singapore, although the neighbouring country claims that the right no longer stands as no price revision was implemented from 1987 to 2012, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Datuk Dr A Xavier Jayakumar said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had confirmed that under clause 14 of the 1962 Water Agreement it was stated that a water price revision could be made every year after the agreement was signed.
He said the ministry was prepared to hold talks with Singapore to discuss the issue.
“We hope Singapore will be able to accept the proposal for the Malaysian government to discuss this issue. We need to do something because the rate (three cents per 1,000 gallons of water) is unreasonable and too cheap compared to raw water price in other countries,” he said during the question-and-answer session.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar Ramandu (PH-Segamat) who asked on the sale of raw water to Singapore and the ministry’s measures in developing a long-term plan for sustainable water supply.
According to Xavier, China has been selling water to Hong Kong at RM14.50 per 1,000 gallons, and China-Taiwan (RM5.80), and even raw water sale at domestic level such as Pahang-Selangor sale was higher (46 cents), and Johor- Malacca (50 cents).
As such he said it was not appropriate for Malaysia to continue selling water to Singapore at three cents per 1,000 gallons.
He said although the ministry respected Malaysia’s obligations as enshrined in the agreement, Malaysia had sacrificed water resources for the benefit of others by putting the interests of the people of Johor at risk.
He said a lot of expenditure was incurred to ensure Singapore had access to 250 million gallons of raw water a day from Sungai Johor and on top of that ministry had spent almost RM100 million to build barriers to prevent saltwater intrusion into Sungai Johor.
He said after the huge investment, the price of three cents for every 1,000 gallons of water sold, was unreasonable and hoped the Singapore government would be open to the price revision. - Bernama