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Mahathir to discuss water agreement on visit here: Malaysian minister

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KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to discuss Malaysia's water agreement with Singapore, among other issues, during his upcoming visit to the Republic for the 33rd Asean Summit from Nov 11 to 15.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya said that in Parliament and added that Malaysia has maintained its stand that it has the right to review the 1962 water agreement, and will make an effort to do so.

"...I would like to reiterate that Malaysia's rights to review the price of water cannot be denied," he said in a reply to Braisan Nasional's Mohd Shahar Abdullah, an MP for Paya Besar, in Parliament yesterday.

He added that the Malaysian government is now in the midst of starting negotiations again with Singapore to determine a price that would benefit both parties.

"The price of three sen (one Singapore cent) per thousand gallons of raw water is too low, and does not benefit the country," said Mr Marzuki.

"Malaysia's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah reiterated that Malaysia has and will maintain its right to review the agreement at any time.

"I would like to stress that the government is committed and taking measures with relevant parties, especially the Johor state government, to ensure the issue can be settled without compromising the nation's interest," he added.

Under the 1962 Water Agreement between the two countries, which expires in 2061, Singapore is entitled to draw up to 250 million gallons a day of raw water from the Johor River at three senfor every 1,000 gallons.

- THE STAR

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