KUALA LUMPUR: A joint statement of mutual interests between Malaysia and Singapore was made at the meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong at the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat held in Singapore today.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statement said, the two leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to this annual engagement platform to discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual concern.
The statement added this is the first Retreat that Singapore and Malaysia have held since the COVID-19 pandemic. Singapore and Malaysia have always been major economic partners.
“The strong and stable cooperation across trade and investment continued as both countries emerged from the pandemic. Singapore and Malaysia continued to be each other’s second largest trading partner in 2022, with bilateral trade reaching a significant USD 83.53 billion in 2022.
“Singapore was also one of Malaysia’s top sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2022, contributing 8.3% of Malaysia’s total FDI for that year,” the statement said.
Among the contents of the Joint Statement between the two leaders include:- Both Leaders welcomed further efforts to enhance economic cooperation, including the Frameworks on Cooperation (FoC) in Digital Economy and Green Economy signed in January 2023.
The inaugural Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD) between Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Malaysia’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) held in Malaysia on 14 June 2023 reviewed the progress of the FoC.
Singapore and Malaysia enterprises enjoy close ties and complementary partnerships. The Leaders witnessed the signing of a side letter to update the Malaysia-Singapore Business Development Fund (MSBDF).
The Leaders expressed their satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation under the purview of the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) and welcomed the progress made by the respective Industrial Cooperation, Immigration, Transportation Links, Innovation, Tourism, and Environment Work Groups.
Both Leaders expressed confidence in the commencement of the RTS Link service by the end of 2026 and looked forward to attending the ceremony in early 2024 to commemorate the historic completion of the drop-in span, which will connect both sides of the marine viaduct.
Leaders looked forward to the convening of the 1st Joint Meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee on the Implementation of the International Court of Justice Judgment on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge and the Committee for Boundary Delimitation Pursuant to the Agreement between the Foreign Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia on 14 March 2019 (1st Joint MSJTC and CBD Meeting) to resolve outstanding bilateral maritime boundary delimitation issues.
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitments as provided for in the 1962 Johor River Water Agreement (62WA). Both Leaders agreed to reconvene the MSE-NRECC Joint Technical Committee to resume discussions on measures to safeguard the water quality, as well as increase the yield of the Johor River, to ensure its sustainable supply to the extent required by the 62WA.
The Leaders agreed to review the delegation arrangements for the provision of air traffic services over Southern Peninsular Malaysia, which were recommended and approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1973 and implemented through the Operational Letter of Agreement between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures and Over-flights 1974.
Both Leaders also looked forward to energy collaboration on other fronts, such as the sharing of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies, carbon capture and storage, and carbon credits. In this regard, both Leaders noted the ongoing discussions for Singapore to import renewable energy from Sarawak in which the Federal Government of Malaysia will give its assistance in accelerating the process.
Both Leaders underscored the importance of maintaining close defence cooperation given the increasing global security challenges.
The Leaders emphasised the importance of continuing both countries’ contribution to regional security through knowledge sharing and exchanges at various multilateral initiatives and fora including the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus, the Malacca Straits Patrol (MSP), and the Counter-Terrorism Information Facility (CTIF).
Both Leaders emphasised the need for close cooperation between both countries to combat the rise of transnational crime. The close cooperation has enabled both countries to prevent, detect, and disrupt various transnational crime threats.
The Leaders noted that an MOU in the Field of Higher Education is currently being discussed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education and Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education. This MOU will strengthen student and faculty exchanges, encourage exchange of scholarships between recognised higher education institutions, and promote the sharing of information and experiences in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and other aspects of higher education, including training programmes for administrators and academic staff.
The Leaders acknowledged the cultural and people-to-people links that form the foundation of the strong ties between both countries. The Leaders noted the successful run of the Malaysia-Singapore Triennial Cultural Showcase (TCS) that was held from 6 to 8 October 2023 in Singapore. The inaugural TCS was launched in 2019 in Kuala Lumpur and has deepened the exchange of culture and heritage between Singapore and Malaysia.
The Leaders noted that the Causeway will mark its centennial anniversary in 2024. They welcomed efforts by both countries to mark this key milestone in connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia, including through joint events, performances, and showcases.
The Leaders agreed to hold the 11th Retreat in 2024 in Malaysia. –Malaysia World News