Selangor Journal
(from left to right) The Singaporean Prime Minister’s wife Loo Tze Lui, Singaporean Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya, as part of Wong’s two-day working visit to Malaysia, on June 12, 2024. — Picture by SADIQ ASYRAF/PEJABAT PERDANA MENTERI

Anwar, Wong affirm commitment to deepen Malaysia-Singapore ties

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his visiting Singaporean counterpart Lawrence Wong have affirmed their commitment to working closely to create a stronger bond between the two countries and across all sectors.

In their first official meeting at Seri Perdana today, Anwar said the both of them discussed bilateral relations in a frank and open manner to enhance them further.

Wong, who arrived yesterday for a two-day introductory visit at his invitation, is as committed as his predecessor in addressing the outstanding and ongoing bilateral issues, including the economic zone, investment, water agreement, airspace, and maritime borders.

“I am very pleased with Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. He seems to be as committed in this first meeting as Prime Minister. I am deeply impressed by his agenda and his willingness to be very frank, very open.

“I look forward to a very healthy and strong relations and bond to benefit both our countries,” he said in a joint news conference with Wong after a lunch meeting.

Anwar said strong and vibrant Malaysia-Singapore relations would benefit not just both nations but also the region at large.

“I see this in a pragmatic manner that Malaysia would, of course, immensely benefit by having Singapore as a great friend and neighbour, and similarly to the benefit of Singaporeans, too. We consider Singapore a very important strategic partner, and I have said it without any qualms.

“There are, of course, issues to be resolved, but it would be of great benefit. We could showcase not only to the region but to the world that we can really be good neighbours and, through practical steps, resolve some of these issues.

“We should also seek new avenues of collaboration and cooperation that transcend not only economic and trade but also culture and tourism and all related fields,” he said.

Concurring with Anwar, Wong said Singapore remains steadfast in its overarching strategic approach to engagements with Malaysia.

“While issues may arise from time to time, as is bound to happen between close friends and neighbours, PM Anwar and I are committed to tackling them constructively while keeping our overall relationship positive and forward-looking,” he said.

Wong said the current Malaysia and Singapore bilateral ties are in very good shape and progressing very well, with the potential for both sides to do even more together going forward.

“So, whatever new ideas they may be, we want to find ways in which we can really bring our two countries together because I believe there is a lot of potential for Malaysia and Singapore to provide a strong anchor for a more dynamic and competitive Southeast Asian region,” he said.

Singapore will continue to pursue a win-win situation with Malaysia, including exploring new opportunities to enhance their deep-rooted connections.

“We all know that we are entering a world that is becoming more dangerous, more unpredictable, with more troubles.

“And in this new environment, our two countries must double our efforts to work closely together and work in a pragmatic way for positive outcomes for both sides,” Wong said.

He also thanked Anwar for his invitation to visit Malaysia and for the opportunity to have a very candid conversation with him.

Wong said Anwar was the first foreign leader to call and congratulate him when he became Singapore’s premier last month.

The 51-year-old was sworn in as Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister on May 15, replacing Lee Hsien Loong, who stepped down after 20 years at the helm.

— Bernama

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