Malaysia: New raw water rate for Singapore

Sim Bak Heng New Straits Times 29 Oct 13;

A-G'S CHAMBERS STUDY: Price to be known by year-end

JOHOR BARU: MALAYSIA is confident of coming up with a new price for raw water sold to Singapore by year-end. The Attorney-General's Chambers is studying the legal aspect of the raw water agreement inked between the two countries more than five decades ago.

Once it is completed, the Johor government will propose a new rate to the Federal Government, which will discuss the rate with Singapore and reach a consensus on the new rate.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state exco had discussed and raised the matter with the Federal Government in August.

He said during an exco meeting in July, it had revisited an intention raised in 2004, which was to hike the price of raw water as the current rate was too low.

He said the state government would not be directly involved in the bilateral talks between the two countries, but would only propose the new rate.

"The Federal Government and Singapore will come up with a consensus on an agreeable rate for both parties," he told the New Straits Times here yesterday.

Johor sells raw water at three sen per 1,000 gallons to Singapore. During former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's time, it was proposed that the rate be raised to 60 sen per 1,000 gallons.

Hasni said raising the price of raw water was long overdue and Malaysia had been doing a social service by selling raw water to Singapore at a low rate for too many years.

"The new rate will reflect the actual price of raw water. We hope to come up with a new rate by the end of the year."