Malaysia to propose revised water rates to Singapore

The water pipes that run along the Causeway connecting Singapore and Malaysia. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is currently finalising new terms for its 1962 raw water supply agreement with Singapore, including a proposal to revise prices which Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last year were unfair and outdated.

Nikkei quoted Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah as saying that the proposal on the revised terms of the 1962 Johore River Water Agreement would be presented to Singapore soon.

“We know it is going to be tough,” he told the financial daily.

Under the water agreement which expires in 2061, Singapore is entitled to draw up to 250 million gallons a day (mgd) of raw water from the Johor River.

In return, Johor is entitled to a daily supply of treated water of up to 2% or five mgd of the water supplied to Singapore.

Singapore pays 3 sen per thousand gallons of raw water, and sells treated water back to Johor at 50 sen per thousand gallons.

Singapore has resisted attempts to increase the price of raw water, saying Malaysia gave up its right in 1987 after it chose not to review the price of water.

Saifuddin meanwhile told Nikkei that Malaysia is working to make Johor less dependent on Singapore for treated water.

“We are also developing some projects to ensure Johor will not be dependent on supply from Singapore, when it comes to treated water, in the next few years,” he said.