Tun Dr Mahathir, the 4th PM of Malaysia posted this article below, titled 'Sound Bites (Water for Singapore) on his blog, http://chedet.co.cc/chedetblog/2009/08/sound-bites-water-for-singapor.html and this was in reply to current Malaysia Dy PM, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who recently publicly mentioned to the press that MM Lee did threaten to go to war with Malaysia if water supply could not be resolved then when he was the MB of Johor.
The following text was quoted by Dr M himself:
1. Tan Sri Muhyiddin spoke the truth about my persuading him to supply water to Singapore (read here). But Lee Kuan Yew did not threaten to go to war if we did not supply water. If he had done that, I think I would have stopped any further supply.
2. We were at that time trying to be friendly with Singapore in order to solve several problems. Although raw water would be supplied at 3 cent per 1000 gallons, the understanding was that in future only treated water would be supplied when our treatment plants would be ready. We would also not buy any more treated water from Singapore at 50 cent per thousand gallons when our new treatment plant in Johore is ready.
3. When we no longer needed to buy treated water from Singapore we could raise the price of raw water to Singapore without Singapore being able to raise the price of treated water to us.
4. However when we concluded the water supply agreement Singapore raised a lot of issues regarding our railway land, the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) at Tanjong Pagar, training flights by Singapore warplanes over Malaysia and the Central Provident Funds.
5. At that stage I realised that being friendly with Singapore did not pay.
6. I don't know about the sale of land to Singapore but as it was agreed that a treatment plant be built by Singapore in Johore, land would have to be made available.
I posted my personal comment to Dr M on his blog but for some reasons, it is not posted though some 72 comments have been posted by him.
The following is my reply to Dr M and I hope he is reading it:
It is heartening to note that you made clarification MM Lee did not threaten to go war with Malaysia if water issue could not be resolved then. If I can recall clearly, it was Malaysia Foreign Minister Syed Hamid who stupidly uttered the word, "go to war with Singapore" to the media which was widely covered in Singapore then. He later did try to do some damage control, kind of comical though.
On the non water issues, were not all these outstanding issues already agreed by both sides and carefully penned down in the P.O.A signed by Tun Daim for Malaysia and LKY for Singapore but regrettably it was later scuppered by you as PM citing nonsensical reasons/excuses. Which side was the unfriendly party then? If Malaysia can totally ignore the P.O.A, what do you think how the world will look at Malaysia especially you, when you were the PM then? If you can blatantly ignore legally drafted agreement, changing position every now & then, don't put the blame on Singapore. In case you are still not aware or not wanting to accept the fact, we are now exporting our expertise/know-how on recyled-water to other countries. Rightly so, we should thank you for making SIN shining like a sparkling diamond in the world map with our water management skills.