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Dr M: Malaysia wants Singapore to review raw water pact

The Star Online logo The Star Online 12/11/2018 MERGAWATI ZULFAKAR
Mahathir Mohamad wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad

SINGAPORE: Malaysia has officially informed Singapore that it is asking for a review of the price of raw water sold to the republic.  

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad raised the matter during his meeting with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong on Monday. 

"We raised some of the issues which in the past were regarded controversial. I state our stand on it and I think by and large he was quite accommodating. 

"I think he listened to my views and I think he is much more open to discuss these things than before," Dr Mahathir told Malaysian media here. 

When asked if he was talking about the water issue, Dr Mahathir replied, "water and other issues." 

Asked if Singapore agreed for a revision, the Prime Minister said Singapore did not say that it did.  

"But at least they appear to be willing to state their case and for us to state our case," he said. 

In June, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would renegotiate the water supply agreement with Singapore, telling Bloomberg in an interview that the price of water sold is "ridiculous".

Malaysia has always felt that the 1962 water agreement was lopsided while another agreement signed in 1961 lapsed in 2011. 

The 1962 deal, which expires in 2061, gives Singapore 250 million gallons of raw water daily at three sen per 1,000 gallons. Malaysia buys back a portion of that, treated at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons. 

Singapore has always maintained that Malaysia lost its right to review the price of raw water sold under the 1962 agreement in 1987. 

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