The 1962 water agreement with the Malaysian govt allows the water price to be revised in 1987, i.e. after 25 years. Malaysia did not take up this revision.

Singapore govt said that Malaysia lost the right to revise the price, because they failed to act. They quote "international law". They have legal experts to confirm this position.

The Malaysian side also has legal experts who took the view that that they did not lose the right to raise the water price, even though they did not act earlier.

Who is right?

I don't know. But I know who is wrong. The amount involved is $15 million a year. It would cost us much more to argue the case in international court. The expert lawyers will be very happy, thank you very much.

There is also a moral issue. I do not expect my 1962 rental to remain the same today. It probably went up 15 times, maybe more.

What is the cost of producing water through other means, i.e. desalination and osmosis? Can this be a benchmark?

My common sense says, pay Dr. M the 50 sens that he ask for. The amount ($15 million a year) is too small to quibble. The cost of the quibbling, and the ensuing disputes over water and air rights, is many times more than $15 million a year.

Some people worry. Will Malaysia take this opportunity to bring up other issues? They might, but their case on the new issues will be much weaker.

However, I trust the people and the govt of Malaysia to be reasonable. We can only build good relations based on trust, understanding and mutual respect.

Tan Kin Lian
The 1962 water agreement with the Malaysian govt allows the water price to be revised in 1987, i.e. after 25 years. Malaysia did not take up this revision.

Singapore govt said that Malaysia lost the right to revise the price, because they failed to act. They quote "international law". They have legal experts to confirm this position.

The Malaysian side also has legal experts who took the view that that they did not lose the right to raise the water price, even though they did not act earlier.

Who is right?

I don't know. But I know who is wrong. The amount involved is $15 million a year. It would cost us much more to argue the case in international court. The expert lawyers will be very happy, thank you very much.

There is also a moral issue. I do not expect my 1962 rental to remain the same today. It probably went up 15 times, maybe more.

What is the cost of producing water through other means, i.e. desalination and osmosis? Can this be a benchmark?

My common sense says, pay Dr. M the 50 sens that he ask for. The amount ($15 million a year) is too small to quibble. The cost of the quibbling, and the ensuing disputes over water and air rights, is many times more than $15 million a year.

Some people worry. Will Malaysia take this opportunity to bring up other issues? They might, but their case on the new issues will be much weaker.

However, I trust the people and the govt of Malaysia to be reasonable. We can only build good relations based on trust, understanding and mutual respect.

Tan Kin Lian