PASIR GUDANG: Johor will leave it to the Federal Government to review the water rates given to its Causeway neighbour under the 1962 Malaysia-Singapore Water Agreement.
Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal (pic) played down his recent meeting with Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
"It was a routine meeting, which I have with every minister to discuss all issues involving Johor.
"We touched upon water issues that must be resolved, especially when it involves Singapore, Malaysia and Johor itself," he added.
Dr Sahruddin said this after officiating the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) road maintenance project phase one open balloting process at Menara Aqabah here Sunday (Feb 16).
He pointed out that the matter was still being finalised and a decision would be made after Malaysia discusses the issue with Singapore.
"We have to wait for the Federal Government and Singapore's decision over it," he added.
It was reported last year that the review of water rates was one of the highlights of the discussions between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at their Leaders Retreat held in April.
Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying that for Malaysia, resolving the long-standing issue of water prices was a priority.
Under the 1962 Johor River Water Agreement, Malaysia is to sell water at three sen for every 1,000 gallons.
In return, Singapore sells treated water back to Johor at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons – an arrangement that Dr Mahathir sees as no longer feasible.
The agreement provides for a review after 25 years, which Malaysia chose not to do in 1987.
Dr Mahathir raised it again in 1998 and both countries agreed to a renegotiation. However, years of talks did not yield any results.
The Johor River Water Agreement, which allows Singapore to draw up to 250 million gallons a day, expires in 2061.
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