On Tuesday, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told a parliamentary debate that Malaysia would seek international arbitration if Singapore did not renegotiate the agreement. The two sides must also discuss the performance and water quality of the Johor River to ensure that Singapore can continue to promote our 250 million gallons of raw water per day under the 1962 water agreement for the remaining 41 years of the water agreement. The second water agreement was signed in 1962 and expires in 2061. It allows Singapore to draw and use 250 million gallons of raw water per day from the Johor River. In return, we have an obligation to provide Johor with treated water of up to 2% of the water we import. PUB draws water from the Johor River and treats water in the Johor River Waterworks near Kota Tinggi in Johor. The water we import from Johor is one of our four national taps. Johor is now entitled to a daily supply of treated water of up to 2 per cent or 5 mgd of water delivered to Singapore. However, in practice, Singapore supplied Johor, at its request, with 16 mg of wastewater-treated water.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told the Nikkei Asian Review that a new sale price for raw water will be finalised by the relevant authorities and that Singapore will soon be proposed. PUB, of good will, must continue to provide this additional treated water to Johor at the same price of 50 sen per thousand gallons. It is good will, and it shows once again the interdependence and the way in which these rules have really benefited both parties. Over the next three years, other issues have been grouped into a package of negotiations in which the two sides have requested and proposed different concessions on several outstanding bilateral issues. One of the items added by Malaysia was a higher price for the water it sold to Singapore. The AMF`s comments were followed by a media statement from its Malaysian counterpart on Tuesday, in which she said that the countries` prime ministers had agreed last November to start talks on the water deal. Malaysians have built two large water treatment facilities that source water from the Johor River upstream of the PUB-Johor River water station in Singapore.