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Johor menteri besar hopes to raise price of water the state sells to Singapore
[JOHOR BARU] Johor's Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said the state hopes it could raise the price of raw water that it sells to Singapore, after discussions with its southern neighbour.
The price could well be raised from the current 3 Malaysian sen per 1,000 gallons, to the same level water is sold to Johor's northern neighbour Melaka - at 50 sen per thousand gallons, he told a news conference on Thursday (July 5).
"It is about time that we raise it. Maybe, we will increase it to the price of raw water that we sell to Melaka," Astro Awani news site reported him as saying.
"Or maybe with further discussion, the price that will be sold to Singapore will be less than the price sold to Melaka, but it will not be at the current price that Singapore buys it now," he added.
Datuk Osman said he has discussed the issue with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last week, the news site of the private TV channel said.
He said Malaysia will study the water agreement with Singapore to see whether the price could be reviewed.
"This needs further discussion. I feel that if the Johor government were to raise it to a reasonable rate, Singapore will accept it, because that is our hope," he added.
Tun Mahathir had, in recent interviews, criticised the 1962 water deal as "too costly" and "ridiculous", and said Malaysia would approach Singapore to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
Dr Mahathir said last month: "We are studying the case properly and we'll make a presentation", but he said the issue is "not urgent".
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the 1962 treaty was guaranteed by both governments in the Separation Agreement, which was registered with the United Nations when Singapore broke away from Malaysia in 1965.
Singapore says both sides must comply fully with all the provisions of these agreements.
The water agreement, which expires in 2061, entitles Singapore 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 per cent, or 5 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.
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