Despite having 25% of the daily water supply now under foreign control and being heavily dependent on Malaysia for the remaining 75%, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing blankly lied that the Singapore has achieved success in being self-sufficient.
The former army general was speaking at an international event on energy resources and made a fool of himself in front of foreign delegates from ASEAN, making baseless claims about water sufficiency in Singapore:
“If the past 50 years have been about how Singapore has overcome water scarcity, the next 50 will be about how the country overcomes its energy challenges. Just like how Singapore has successfully diversified our supply of water over the years, our next ambitious goal is to enhance our energy resilience to ensure that we are never dependent on any single source of supply.”
Following his statement, the audience filled with ASEAN delegates, including Malaysia, were notably disquieted with many whispering and muffled laughts among themselves.
Just earlier this month, Singapore’s two leading water desalination plants came under Indonesia’s control after the poorly-managed company Hyflux was bought over by an Indonesia government-backed consortium. Malaysia has also indicated that they will be raising water prices for Singapore, as their local states like Melaka are paying 33 times more expensive than the subsidised rate Singapore is getting.
Despite having already spent billions on water desalination plants over the past 50 years, the Singapore government has failed to attain water sufficiency in the island. A major reason behind the water shortage is a jump in the Singapore population, which ballooned nearly 50% from just 4 million in 2000 to 5.79 million today.