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Reaffirming Singapore-Malaysia ties

09 Apr 2019 2 min read

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reaffirmed their commitment to a cooperative and forward-looking bilateral relationship.

At a joint press conference, at the end of the Ninth Leaders’ Retreat, Mr Lee said that as close neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia will have to address issues between both countries constructively and work towards win-win outcomes.

He said that ministries and agencies from both sides are working together to resolve the issues faced, among which are maritime and airspace boundaries, and also water issues.

Maritime boundary

As of 9 April, Singapore and Malaysia announced mutual suspension of overlapping port limits at the Straits of Singapore, as part of measures to ease tensions in the maritime dispute.

Mr Lee said that with the implementation of the measures, negotiations on boundary delimitation can commence in a month.

Airspace issue

Civil Aviation authorities from both countries will work together to develop GPS-based instrument approach procedures for Seletar Airport to replace the Instrument Landing System (ILS).

Firefly will also resume its operations from Seletar Airport from 21 April 2019.

Connectivity projects

The ongoing rail projects – Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) were also reviewed during the retreat.

Malaysia had put in a request to suspend the RTS project for six months to re-assess their options, and the attorneys-general of both countries have been tasked with a supplemental agreement to give affect to the suspension, similar to that of the HSR. The HSR suspension on the other hand, has about one year left of the Suspension Agreement.

Separately, on a question regarding Singapore’s proposed law against online falsehoods, Mr Lee commented that Singapore is not the only country looking at legislating the issue, and the Government will continue to take an approach that works for it.

At the joint press conference, Mr Lee also announced that as part of the Bicentennial commemoration, he had invited Dr Mahathir and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah to Singapore for National Day, which will be held at the Padang. Dr Mahathir had accepted the invite.

Read the full statement

Photo from PM Lee’s Facebook