Unfortunately, the Chapters continues - as taken from http://www.asiaone.comHistory of water - according to Utusan Malaysia
Utusan Malaysia ran a series of articles recently on the water agreements between Singapore and Malaysia. They provide an insight into Malaysian thinking on the agreements, their view of history, and their perceptions of the reasons for the current impasse in the water talks. We publish below translated excerpts from these articles - 'Free Water for Singapore' (Jan 6); 'Serve the notice so as to take over water plants' (Jan 7); and 'The fact is that it should be after 25 years' (Jan
ORIGINALLY, Singapore was part of the sovereign territory of the Johor-Riau-Lingga Malay sultanate. However, on Aug 2, 1824, Singapore became a British colony when Sultan Hussein and Temenggong Abdul Rahman agreed to cede the island to the British 'in perpetuity'.
Singapore changed from a Malay fishing village into the leading Chinese city in the region.
However, Singapore faced two big problems. First, it does not have sufficient water supply. Second, it is small.
To overcome the water problem, Singapore signed three agreements with Johor, in 1927, 1961 and 1962.
As a neighbour who cares for the needs of its 'relatives' in Singapore, Johor agreed to supply water to the Republic.
THE 1927 AGREEMENT
THE Johor state government provided 2,100 acres of land at Gunung Pulai as a water catchment area for Singapore.
Singapore had rights over the area for 21 years and was required to pay only 30 sen per acre annually, said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Historical, Political and Strategic Studies Centre chairman, Professor Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud.
However, he said, the 1927 Agreement made no mention of how much Singapore must pay for the water.
"What is clearly stated is only the rent for the land; and this gives rise to the question of whether Singapore received its water supply for free," he said.
On the other hand, if Johor wanted to receive water treated by the Singapore Municipal Council, it had to pay 25 sen per 1,000 gallons and the amount could not exceed 1,200 gallons daily.
THE 1961 AND 1962 AGREEMENTS
THE water price was fixed only when Singapore was given the right in 1961 to draw 86 million gallons daily from Skudai and Tebrau rivers for a price of three sen per 1,000 gallons until 2011.
The 1962 Agreement stipulated that Singapore could pump up to 250 million gallons of water daily from Johor River at the same price.
The Johor government agreed in 1961 to allow Singapore to use 120 acres of its land for 99 years, and in 1962, a further 341 acres for 99 years, for a payment of RM5 per acre.
Prof Nik Anuar said that unlike the water price that could be reviewed after 25 years, there was no clause stating that the payment for the use of the land could be reviewed.
But the agreements have clauses stating that in the event of a dispute over water issues, both sides must refer the case to an arbitrator.
WATER AND SEPARATION
PROF Nik Anuar said that the separation of Singapore from Malaysia did not affect the latter's commitment to supply water to the Republic.
The Malaysian government agreed to include Article 14 in Annex B of the Agreement on Separation, providing assurances that the Johor government would respect all conditions and responsibilities agreed to in the 1961 and 1962 Agreements.
Singapore, ever suspicious and cautious, registered the agreement with the United Nations Charter Secretariat Office on June 1, 1966.
"In the minds of the Singapore leaders, their country is constantly under threat and that is why they decided to register the agreement; but after having done that, they still do not feel safe," said Prof Nik Anuar.
Singapore thinks that Malaysia will violate the agreements and cut off water supply, on the basis of a statement that Tunku Abdul Rahman made to Lord Head, the British High Commissioner to Kuala Lumpur, on Aug 9, 1965.
"If Singapore's foreign policy is prejudicial towards the interests of Malaysia, we can apply pressure on the country by threatening to shut off the water."
Prof Nik Anuar said the first Malaysian Prime Minister's statement should be viewed in the context it was made Â… that is, if Singapore established ties with Indonesia while Malaysia and Indonesia were engaged in the Confrontation.
Thus, this "aimless" concern of Singapore is totally baseless.
JOHOR SHOULD TAKE BACK WATER WORKS
SINGAPORE was given the right to manage the water catchment area in Gunung Pulai for 21 years by the 1927 Agreement.
Though the 21 years has lapsed, Singapore regained its rights to the area in the 1961 and 1962 Agreements.
Prof Nik Anuar said that the Johor government had the right to take over the water works in the Gunung Pulai catchment area by giving four years' notice to the Singapore Government. He said: 'The Johor government need only pay service charges agreed by the two sides if it wants to take over the works.'
Prof Nik Anuar regards administrative jurisdiction over the area as enabling the Johor government to use its discretion to fix a new price for water that the Republic must agree to, whether it likes it or not.