Kuala Lumpur Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said Tuesday that his country and Singapore have agreed to find an amicable solution to the issue over the water supply between the two countries.
Mahathir made the statement at a joint press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after the ninth Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat in Kuala Lumpur. He said the effort would include the possibility of dispute resolution through arbitration on a mutually agreed basis.
According to BERNAMA, the water agreement between the two countries was among the issues discussed by the Malaysian prime minister and his Singaporean counterpart in their talks.
The 1962 Johore River Water Agreement, which expires in 2061, requires Malaysia to supply Singapore with 250 million gallons of raw water per day at 3SEN per 1,000 gallons. Malaysia purchases a portion of the treated water at 50SEN per 1,000 gallons.
Malaysia regards the resolving of the longstanding issue of the water price review as a priority.
We were engaged in active negotiations on the review in the late 90s and early 2000s," Mahathir said.
The issue of the water agreement cropped up in the middle of last year after Mahathir pointed out that the price of raw water supplied to Singapore did not make sense and said he planned to negotiate a review of the terms.
Lee, meanwhile, said it was in the interest of the two countries to work together to ensure sustainable water supply for both sides, which would reduce the potential for further conflict in the future. However, he raised Singapore's concerns about the recent water pollution in the Johor River and the long-term water yield.
The Singaporean prime minister said that although his country's position was that Malaysia has lost its right to review the price under the water agreement, the two leaders agreed that their respective attorney-generals will meet in November to understand each other's legal position on the right to review.
Source: International Islamic News Agency