Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155615
Title: IN THE WATERS THAT BIND: A CRITICAL STUDY OF JOHOR’S WATER INSECURITY AND A RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA WATER NARRATIVE
Authors: LIEW YI LING
Keywords: Singapore
Johor
Malaysia
water treatment capacity
water narrative
water insecurity
Issue Date: 22-Apr-2019
Citation: LIEW YI LING (2019-04-22). IN THE WATERS THAT BIND: A CRITICAL STUDY OF JOHOR’S WATER INSECURITY AND A RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA WATER NARRATIVE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: To scholars, analysts, and policymakers, the Singapore-Malaysia water narrative had always been viewed through a nation-centric lens. Undoubtedly, Singapore and Malaysia remained key to this narrative. However, in merely confining this discourse to one which revolves only around the two countries, the notion of water insecurity therein only highlights Singapore’s dependence on Johor for its raw water supply. From this standpoint, the prevailing scholarship on studying the water discourse approached this subject framed by an assumption of Singapore’s ostensible vulnerability in the Singapore-Malaysia water relationship. As such, the state of literature hence remains enmeshed in studying the precipitation of the early-2000s water issue and its propensity for conflict. Key to this narrative, however, is the State of Johor and its consequent dependence on Singapore for treated water. When the first Water Agreement was enacted in 1927, this water narrative began—and it took root from the Singapore-Johor water relationship. In the waters which bind, Singapore and Johor remained co-dependent; and as this paper will examine, Johor’s water dependence had—in fact—lasted up until 1999 without any whispers of water-self-sufficiency. To gear itself towards being independent from Singapore’s treated water in 2000, Johor constructed the Semanggar Water Treatment Plant in 2004 to increase its water treatment capacity for Johor Bahru, Kota Tinggi, and Pontian. However, as the findings in this paper reveals, Johor continued to be reliant on Singapore in the decade after 1999. While water insecurity remained intrinsic in the Singapore-Johor relationship, it is in this vulnerability where the interdependence thrived. In turn, the water narrative is re-written—and it is one which allowed security to flourish from mutual insecurity between Singapore and Johor.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155615
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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