JOHOR BARU – For the first time in 53 years, the raw water agreement between Johor and its neighbour across the Causeway, Singapore, is set to undergo a review.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers has given the Johor government the green light to reassess the rate charged for the raw water it supplies to Singapore, which has been in place since 1961.
Following the move, Johor is expected to raise the rate sometime this year.
It will also embark on a “zero water dependency” programme so that it would no longer need to purchase treated water from Singapore in the future.
Although the rate has yet to be announced, it is believed that the state will stick to the rate proposed during the tenure of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which was 60 sen per 1,000 gallons of raw water.
Currently, under the terms of the Malaysia-Singapore Agreement in 1961 and 1962, Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) purchases raw water from Johor at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons (4,546.09 litres) and sells the treated water at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons to Johor.
Johor sells 250 million litres of raw water to Singapore daily, and buys two per cent of the total back from them in the form of treated water, equivalent to five million litres daily.
State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state executive council had discussed and raised the matter with the Federal Government last August.
Since then, the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been studying the legal aspects of the raw water agreement inked between the two countries more than five decades ago.
“Early last month, we received a favourable reply from the A-G’s Chambers, with regards to the legal aspects of the revised rates,” he said.