Across the Causeway

Mahathir to Renegotiate “Ridiculous” Price that Singapore is Paying for Water

Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad dubbed the price that Singapore is paying Malaysia for water as “ridiculous” and said Malaysia will make a case for renegotiating the terms of the deal.

The water deal is set to expire in 2061, however, Dr Mahathir said today:

“I think it is manifestly ridiculous that we should sell water at 3 sen per thousand gallons. That was okay way back in the 1990s or 1930s. But now what can you buy with 3 sen? Nothing.”

Singaporean household are already reeling from a 30 percent hike in water prices levied by the Singapore government, and will likely face another hike if Malaysia were to raise the cost of water further.

Today, imported water meets half of Singapore’s water needs.

Under the 1962 Water Agreement, Singapore is given full and exclusive rights to draw up to a maximum of 250 million gallons of water per day from the Johore River.

In return, Johor is entitled to buy treated water of the same volume as up to 2 per cent of the water extracted by Singapore on any given day.

In January this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a joint-statement reaffirming the importance of undertaking measures to ensure the reliable and adequate water supply from the Johore River as provided for in the 1962 Water Agreement.



1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jie Ming

    July 5, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I am sure almost everyone would be mad with the Malaysian government seeking to increase the current water prices. But honestly, the price is really cheap. An agreement signed by leaders between the two countries should be honored too. In actual fact, it shouldn’t blame Singapore for buying at such a good price. The blame should pinpointed to the Malaysian leader who agreed and signed the legal contract. They should read and think carefully before signing it. At least, they should add to the contract stating the water prices be raised progressively due to future money inflation. So if they never foresees these, maybe to just accept it or go for a softer approach to renegotiate. Just think in laymen term. Can we reject or dishonor a legal contract because we realized we have overpaid? No one put a pistol on our skull and forced us to sign the contract? I thought it was Mr Lee Kuan Yew who was smarter and outwit others.

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