chapter  2
26 Pages

The Singapore–Malaysia Water Relationship: An Analysis of the Media Perspectives (from Hydrological Sciences Journal)

Singapore is a city-state of 4.987 million inhabitants with a land area of 710.3 km (Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & Industry, 2010). With a rapid rate of economic growth, an open-door policy for foreign investment, and clear priorities on economics for major decisions related to its development, Singapore is currently one of the most developed countries in Asia with a per capita GDP second only to Japan (World Bank, 2010). Malaysia, located north of Singapore, has a population of 28.31 million people and an area of 330,803 km (Department of Statistics, 2010). With a robust economic recovery process underway, the country’s medium-term growth outlook focuses on the implementation of structural reforms that will unleash its innovation potential, shifting the sources of comparative advantage from low costs to high value. Singapore and Malaysia have established unique bilateral relations. Their geography,

historical heritage, economy and culture have contributed to an intricate and closely interdependent relationship. Both the countries, together with Sabah and Sarawak, were once united as the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. The merger soon failed and Singapore became independent in 1965. From that date on, Singapore’s lack of natural resources to support its economic growth and social development, mainly in terms of water resources, made the leadership of the country aware of the importance of developing and implementing clear visions, long-term planning and forward-looking policies and strategies that would provide it with enough flexibility to achieve its increasingly ambitious development plans (Ghesquière, 2007; Yap et al., 2010).