While relations between Singapore and Malaysia may dip occasionally, Singapore President Tony Tan believes the close personal ties shared at all levels of government as well as the current positive mindset will help overcome challenges.
Indeed, Dr Tan feels there is “a new momentum” in bilateral relations following the resolution of the Points of Agreement (PoA), which was an important catalyst in advancing ties.
“I had a very good visit here. Overall, I would characterise the bilateral relations as excellent and full of potential for joints projects on both sides,” he added in three days state visit to Malacca at the invitation of the Agong, Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Cautioning that bilateral ties cannot be taken by granted but need to e nurtured, Dr Tan said: “I recognise that the path ahead will not be entirely smooth, but i am confident that the present positive approach and close personal ties we share at all levels will help to overcome these difficulties and challenges.
Tony Tan is confident the occasional hiccups in relation s or Malaysia’s internal affair would not affect planned joint projects including those that will enhance connectivity, such as the Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Tansit System (RTS) or the more ambitious Kuala Lumpur – Singapore high speed rail HSR link. High Speed Rail HSR once completed will shorten the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore journey to 90 minutes.
“There may be wrinkles from time to time arising from the domestic political situation in Malaysia., but I don’t see any of this derailing the projects”. ” It is a matter of being prepared. In implementing the projects, both sides have to look after their own interests, but what’s important is the realisation that both sides will benefit from making it happen. And from my meetings, it’s clear both sides have a vested interest in making things happen.”
Singapore President Tony Tan noted that a format for issues resolution has been established in the form of a joint ministerial committee (JMC) which works through mutual negotiations. The Joint Ministerial Committee JMC is working on the mooted Singapore – Johor Bahru RTS which Dr Tan acknowledged has still ” a number of issues to be worked out between the two governments”.
Source from Today newspaper
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