Azmin still meeting Singapore ministers, says Malaysia after Iskandar meeting called off

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said Azmin will still meet his counterpart Lawrence Wong and Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss other bilateral issues. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said Azmin will still meet his counterpart Lawrence Wong and Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss other bilateral issues. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali will proceed with meeting Singaporean ministers, Wisma Putra said today after Singapore postponed a bilateral meeting on Iskandar Malaysia.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said Azmin will still meet his counterpart Lawrence Wong, who is Singapore’s National Development Minister, and Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss other bilateral issues.

“This demonstrates that ties between the two countries remain strong,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The meeting will form the next positive step forward after the fruitful bilateral meeting held between the ministers of foreign affairs of Malaysia and Singapore on January 8, 2019. Currently, both foreign ministers are in communication and agreed that both sides should remain calm and not sensationalise the matter.”

Singapore postponed a meeting by the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM), which had been scheduled for tomorrow, because Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian allegedly intruded into Singapore’s territorial waters.

Wisma Putra said today that Osman had visited the Johor Baru port “in Malaysian territorial waters”.

Osman said in response that Singapore was merely using the issue of territorial waters to postpone the JMCIM meeting.

“I want to stress that my visit to the Marine Department Malaysia’s asset was not an issue; instead, Singapore is just using it as an excuse to delay the JMCIM meeting,” Osman posted on Facebook.

Osman reportedly said yesterday that his visit to the Malaysian-Singapore maritime border area last Wednesday was to observe Malaysian security forces.