(Mar 4): Singapore and Malaysia leaders are once again butting heads over water, a sore point between the two countries over the years.

The city-state’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s comments about a water agreement were a “red herring” and the pact must be fully honoured. He was responding Friday in parliament to a question seeking comment about Mahathir’s remarks this week that the deal is “morally wrong” and Malaysians in the neighbouring state of Johor should protest.

“These are strong, emotive words, no doubt intended to rouse public opinion.” Balakrishnan said. “I’m supposed to be diplomatic. But I think members of this House also know that I call a spade a spade. This is a red herring.”

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