Malaysia Water Deal with Singapore: SGD 0.01 for 1,000 Gallons of Raw Water

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The story started in 1926 when the first water agreement was signed. The rate used in 2019 remained the same, which is Singapore dollar 0.01 or 1 Singaporean Cent for 1,000 gallons of raw water from Johor river. For almost 93 years, the price of the water Malaysia supplied to Singapore has been the same.

When Malaysia wanted to revise its price in 2019, Singapore decided to complain and used many of its tactics to subdue and convince everyone that it is Malaysia who is bullying them. The fact remains that it is Singapore who is the bully. Claiming to be a victim does not make you one. Here is why:

The water agreement allows Singapore to draw 250,000,000 gallons of water from Johor per day for SGD 0.01/1000. Effectively paying SGD 2,500 a day if they used up all its quota. That amount of money is essentially insignificant as the costs of maintaining pipes, distribution and the energy needed to pump the water to Singapore will negate all the revenue generated.

The usual counter argument by Singapore side was always that it provided treated water back to Malaysia at low rate when it did not have to. Contrary to that belief, it was stated in the water agreement that Singapore must provide treated water back to Malaysia at a low rate but only at around 2% of the raw water supplied to them. For our case study, if Malaysia got its 2% of treated water from Singapore, she would have to pay SGD 83,333.33 to Singapore for it. Singapore would have profited SGD 80,833 daily just for it. Effectively, Singapore earned by getting water from Malaysia for 93 years, which comes out to a total of SGD 2,743,887,499.99, roughly RM 8.232 Billion. Remember this is total profit, provided they say they provided more treated water to Malaysia, they would have profited even more than the total amount above. Given that they said the cost of treating water was higher and that they were making a loss by providing treated water to Malaysia, do remember Malaysia also make a loss by providing raw water to you. Show the proof that Singapore is making a loss by providing treated water to Malaysia. (They have never done that apart from claiming that the actual cost is higher than SGD 0.16 / 1,000 gallons)

Many Singaporean ministers have remained allergic to this water issue and has been sensitive to even the newspaper reports on it. They will always came out to shout that Malaysia has been not honouring its part of the agreement. Here is the truth, Malaysia has never charged more than SGD 0.01 for the past 93 years. We have done nothing but honouring and helping Singapore out as a good neighbour. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What has Singapore helped out Malaysia apart from blocking many attempts which would provide a successful outcomes for both countries eg. new causeway.

Since Singapore has benefited greatly from this water deal with Malaysia, its ministers wanted to protect the golden goose that lays the golden eggs for as many years as they can. Just like how they have spent millions on renovating the Seletar Airport only to find out later they could not fly over Johor Pasir Gudang side that they panicked and blamed Malaysia for their fault: when they could have easily fly into Singapore from South side of Singapore.

Bullying Malaysia

Malaysia has been trying to renegotiate the new water prices since Year 2000 but everytime any attempts was made to do so will result in all-out attacks from Singaporean ministers. They have done well to brainwash its citizens to spew the same red herring as the current foreign minister, Vivian has said.

Many do not know that Malaysia has been quietly and patiently providing trillions of water to Singapore for almost free, losing in turns billions of dollars. When Singapore decided to attack Malaysia with statements like dishonouring the agreement, never once did Malaysia stop providing water to Singapore. Every day, millions of gallons of water still flow to Singapore. Malaysia has been a good neighbour to Singapore.

As for the water treatment plant built in Johor, it was done out of the blue. It was part of the water agreement in 1962 that stipulated that it must be built and maintained by Singapore. So, Singapore was not being nice to Malaysia by suddenly deciding to do that.

There was no renegotiations that took place even after so many years as Singaporean ministers are allergic to this issue. The rhetoric was that Malaysia is bullying Singapore by bringing up this issue.

Let us go through some facts here:

Malaysia GDP: 9,944.90 USD (per capita)

Singapore GDP: 57,714.30 USD (per capita)

Singapore is a much richer country than Malaysia and she is actually the bully.

By wanting to review the price, Singapore has threaten to sue Malaysia, to increase its price of treated water (which is also fixed in the agreement: Singapore has no honour too), by including other separate issues into the argument so that Malaysia can forget and hopefully give up on this particular water price review.

While we have been a good neighbour to Singapore, what has Singapore ever done for Malaysia? One may wonder… She has continue to block attempts to new bridges to connect the two countries. God knows why since it will spur more developments. She also has continue to bully businesses across the straits endlessly. When Malaysia increase its custom entry and exit, Singapore also responded in kind by increasing its side too. All these do not really show the characteristic of a good neighbour but a Bullying neighbour who take advantage of another.

It was such a simple issue that one can laugh at it but things has been made complicated for a reason, to make malaysian side forget about ever reviewing or renegotiating the water price.

The logic is simple, no country in the world would be nice and kind enough as Malaysia to keep its raw water supply for ONE Singaporean cent for over 93 years for 1,000 gallons (SGD 0.001 / Gallon) only to ask to review the price in 2019. There is no other country in world who would be so kind to a fellow country. However, when Malaysia requested to review the price, she was scrutinised, disrespected and bullied by Singaporean ministers. Is this how you treat a benefactor who has helped you for 93 years?

A benefactor who has paid you in excess of Ringgit Malaysia (RM) 8.232 Billion for your treated water.

Has Singapore ever show her gratefulness and appreciation for Malaysia when she decided not to increase the water price in 1987 because she knows that this will affect the lives of average singaporeans. We were kind enough to not increase the price but this fact was twisted by Singaporean ministers to be our lost chance to review the water price. What corrupted, twisted individuals would make the average joe suffers when water is the most essential element of life. In 1987s, both economies were relatively new countries and have a lot of problems to solve. By not increasing the water prices, Malaysia is taking care of average singaporeans.

Malaysia has been kind to Singapore

That is the fact that we cannot deny. The question to be asked is has Singapore been kind to Malaysia. In contrary, Singapore has been bullying Malaysia for many many years.

An example of this is the Causeway bridge. Singapore has been unwilling to replace it because she is so scared that a new bridge would allow ship to bypass its Singapore port.

Another example is that Singapore does not release Malaysian CPF for average hardworking malaysians who have contributed to Singapore’s economy.

There are many more examples.

She claims Malaysia will be breaking the 1962 water agreement if we decided to negotiate the water price. No agreement has been broken. When two countries come together to negotiate a new agreement, the old agreement will be declared null and void without breaking anything.

Fellow singaporeans who are smart, please do not believe all your singaporean ministers. Think for yourself.

Singapore claimed that she is very generous to have built the Linggiu treatment plant for Malaysia. No! This was agreed upon by Singapore in the 1962 agreement. This was also meant to be used for singaporeans and by singaporeans.

Whenever faced with this issue, Singaporean ministers will without fail pull up all the other separate issues to distract and delay the malaysian side. It is only normal for two countries to sit down and review its policies and negotiations on issues.

No country unilaterally threaten others unless you are Donald Trump.

So Singapore, learn to be a good neighbour, maybe Malaysia will supply water at SGD 0.01 to you for another 93 years.

Sarawak Blogger

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