SINGAPORE, May 28 — Singapore is ready to work closely with Malaysia in support of the latter’s Asean Chairmanship next year.

Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said this was conveyed by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to his Malaysian counterpart, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who is in the republic for a two-day official visit since Monday.

“They also discussed ways to strengthen Asean Centrality and ensure South-east Asia remains a bright spot globally,” MFA said in a statement, Tuesday.

During the discussions, both ministers also underscored the importance of continuing close cooperation to deliver mutual benefit for the peoples of the two countries.

Advertisement

This include by enhancing economic cooperation and connectivity through initiatives like the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link and the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone, while addressing bilateral issues constructively.

“They agreed that both sides should continue to make progress on these issues ahead of the 11th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in Malaysia later this year,” MFA said.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry in a Facebook post said the two ministers discussed various aspects of Malaysia-Singapore bilateral relations, including the potential for collaboration in new emerging sectors.

Advertisement

“Their discussion also touched upon key regional and international issues of mutual concern,” it said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad also called on President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, and Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier Tuesday.

All three Singapore leaders reaffirmed the robust partnership and historic people-to-people ties between Singapore and Malaysia.

Both sides also reiterated their strong commitment to continue the high-level exchanges, and to working together both bilaterally and within Asean amidst a more uncertain geopolitical environment.

Meanwhile, Wong, who is also finance minister, expressed his appreciation of Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s invitation for him to make an early introductory visit to Malaysia.

The prime minister, via Facebook, said he is happy to accept Anwar’s invitation to make the visit to Malaysia soon, before the annual Leader’s Retreat later this year.

“I am happy to accept his invitation, and will schedule an early visit to KL (Kuala Lumpur), as part of a series of introductory visits to Asean capitals,” he said.

This is Mohamad’s first official visit to the republic as foreign minister. He departs Singapore on Tuesday. — Bernama