Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia will certainly reciprocate Singapore’s increasing investments and trade into Malaysia with serious attempts to resolve most of the outstanding issues.
“…outstanding issues sometimes deemed to be contentious by parties but I must suggest here that it was, to a large extent, resolved amicably through friendship,” said Anwar in a joint press conference with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
Anwar expressed his excitement about the level of achievement in resolving those issues which he said “is quite unprecedented.”
Both Prime Ministers met in Singapore today for the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anwar noted that he has always suggested that both countries should not take any issues in isolation and look at the whole bilateral setup and the interest in resolving the issues.
Citing water supply issues that have been long outstanding, Anwar said Malaysia’s position is clear “that we have to honour the commitment of water from Johor to Singapore.”
“We will have to work jointly to ensure Johor would be able to enhance the capacity through Johor river to supply both Johor’s needs which is also expanding, and for Singapore.
“I think instead of focusing purely on price mechanism, we should look at the possibility of Singapore participating in a joint effort, where a study which can be conducted immediately, and also in terms of management of Johor river with Johor state,” he said.
According to a joint statement issued after the Retreat, the leaders reaffirmed their commitments as provided for in the 1962 Johore River Water Agreement (62WA).
Both Leaders agreed to reconvene the Joint Technical Committee to resume discussions on measures to safeguard the water quality, as well as increase the yield of the Johore River, to ensure its sustainable supply to the extent required by the 62WA.
The Leaders also agreed that both countries will resume discussions on the raw and treated water prices, without prejudice to each other’s respective long-declared positions on the right to review the prices under the 62WA.
They further expressed their appreciation to the Singapore and Johor water authorities for their ongoing close cooperation on water issues.
The leaders encouraged the water authorities to maintain their excellent working relationship and looked forward to more areas of collaboration between the two countries.
As for airspace issues, Anwar said there is some agreement on the perimeters and described it as “some remarkable feet in terms of both bilateral relations, according to a report by Bernama.
In the joint statement, the leaders agreed to review the delegation arrangements for the provision of air traffic services over Southern Peninsular Malaysia.
These were recommended and approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1973 and implemented through the Operational Letter of Agreement between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures and Overflights 1974.
“This review shall be in accordance with ICAO’s requirements for safe and efficient air traffic management as well as accommodate both countries’ current and future operational needs,” said the statement.
Both leaders tasked the respective Transport Ministers to deliberate and agree on a set of principles and outcomes to guide both civil aviation authorities to move forward as expeditiously as possible.