Malaysia-Singapore bilateral relations not at ‘downward spiral’: Azmin

17-Jan-2019 Intellasia | NST | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali disagreed with a suggestion that Malaysia-Singapore relations are at a ‘downward spiral’.

The Economic Affairs minister said that this was because the wisdom and leadership of both nations would steer the relationship out of troubled waters.

“Well, I am not suggesting that (the relations are in a downward spiral). There are issues both countries are facing now.

“But with wisdom and leadership from both countries, I believe this engagement will give better results,” he said.

Azmin was speaking when met after the proclamation of the sixth Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, at Istana Abu Bakar here today.

He was responding to yesterday’s news report by international news agency Reuters, which quoted Singapore’s Foreign minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan as describing ties between both countries as being on a ‘downward spiral’.

Balakrishnan said that this was due to a series of maritime and airspace disputes between Malaysia and Singapore, which he hoped could be resolved amicably.

The protracted disputes had led to the cancellation of the annual meeting of Joint ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) between both nations. No new date had been set for the meeting.

Despite that, Azmin had continued with his bilateral visit to the island republic yesterday to prove that both countries were ready to sit down to talk and find solutions to their disputes.

When asked how the meeting went, Azmin today described it as being very productive and very good as it maintained a very positive momentum on both countries’ bilateral relations.

“There are issues that we (Malaysia and Singapore) have to deal with.

“I do not want a particular statement from either side to derail the main objective of both governments.

“We want Singapore and Malaysia to enjoy a close working relationship as this is the right time to enhance cooperation (between both countries) especially in this region,” he said.

In the most recent diplomatic incident, Johor’s Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian’s visit to Marine Department’s vessel, MV Pedoman had displeased Singapore, which then led to abruptly cancelling the JMCIM meeting.


Category: Malaysia

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