KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has expressed hope for the new Malaysian government to “hit the ground running” as there are unresolved bilateral issues between both countries.

In brief remarks about Malaysia’s spectacular change of government last week, he pointed out that the two nations are still in negotiation over the High-Speed Rail, the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS), and the supply of water.

However, Vivian said Malaysia’s new prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was a familiar entity and pointed out that the latter was once the mentri besar of Johor that neighbours the republic.

“In fact, most people don’t even realise he was a key negotiator for the 1990 supplementary water agreement. So, he is completely familiar with this.


“So, I’m sure he will be able to hit the ground running and we will wait for him to appoint his Cabinet and we will take it from there,” the Singapore minister said when appearing on a Channel News Asia programme.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong already conveyed his congratulations to Muhyiddin after the latter was sworn in and went on to state his belief that bilateral ties between the two countries will continue flourishing.

Muhyiddin’s appointment could see a return to balmier diplomatic relations with Singapore as his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was known for his confrontational approach to the island-state.


Muhyiddin was sworn in as the eighth prime minister of Malaysia on Sunday but has yet to select his Cabinet.