Following Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s repeated complaints regarding the current Singapore-Malaysia water agreement, the Johor branch of his party has stepped up to echo his cries.
According to Channel NewsAsia, they labelled the current agreement as “morally wrong”.
Mahathir has long been a proponent of raising the price at which Singapore buys water from Johor, stating that current prices are unreasonably low and implying that Singapore, being a rich country, should be able to buy water at higher prices.
The Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) media director Mohd Solihan, appealed in his statement to the media:
“Surely, your conscience will tell you that this is a raw deal for the people of Malaysia and especially Johoreans, many of whom may be your own family members.
“Do you not feel guilty that you are enjoying drinking water that you have bought so cheaply from your kin?” he questioned.
As reported by Malay Mail, he also said that as a result, Malaysians have had to endure frequent water shortages in recent years.
“After 57 years, we cannot still sell a precious commodity like this (water) at the dirt cheap rate of three Malaysian sen (one Singapore cent) per 1,000 gallons of raw water to Singapore.
“It is even more ludicrous that we are buying back this treated water from Singapore at the rate of 50 sen per 1,000 gallons,” continued Mohd Solihan.
Johor has declared that it plans to be self-sufficient in treated water instead of reliance on Singapore’s supply.
On Sunday, a spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it took note of Johor’s plans to increase its capacity to produce treated water to meet its own needs.
“This does not affect Singapore’s position that all parties, including Johor, must honour the terms of the 1962 Water Agreement, which no party can unilaterally change,” the spokesperson added.