MCA publicity spokesperson Ti Lian Ker has questioned why Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not review terms of Malaysia’s water agreement with Singapore during his first tenure as prime minister.
As Ti pointed out, the agreement allowed for a one-time review between 1986 to 1987.
"There was ample opportunity for Malaysia to review the water agreement during Mahathir’s tenure in 1986 and 1987, but it is inconceivable as to why he did not.
"Missing out on the grace period for a review placed Malaysia at a disadvantage... Fast forward 11 years later in 1998 with Mahathir still at the helm, the water issue was raised again, but negotiations brought no success.
"Although Mahathir is now reviving this issue after 30 years, it does not negate that he did not exercise Malaysia’s right to call for a review," he said in a statement today.
In a Channel News Asia interview yesterday, Matahir deemed the sale of raw water to Singapore at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons "ridiculous.”
The agreement, signed in the 1960s, requires Singapore to sell treated water to Malaysia in turn at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons.
However, Mahathir said the water review was not a priority at this point of time, and he had only commented when asked about the matter during the interview.
Ti also noted in his statement that MCA favours a more equitable agreement with Singapore.
"MCA hopes Singapore will be reasonable to enable a readjusted water rate which works to a win-win situation for both nations.
"We believe that Singapore has the maturity to not adopt the threat by its late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to send troops to Malaysia over water supply differences," he said.