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Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim (June 2024)

Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim (June 2024)
Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim (June 2024)


Prime Minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, thank you very much for those kind words and warm remarks. Thank you also for the kind hospitality extended to me and my delegation on my introductory visit to Malaysia.

Prime Minister Anwar called me the morning after he was sworn in as Prime Minister – he was the first foreign leader to do so. In that phone conversation, he invited me to make an early introductory visit to Malaysia and I immediately agreed.

Both Prime Minister Anwar and I have met on previous occasions, so we are familiar with each other, but I thought it was important for me to come early to establish a rapport and good working relationship. I think we made this today for a great meal and durian for dessert. I am confident that we will be able to work effectively together to advance our bilateral ties. There will be continuity in terms of our comprehensive strategic approach to engaging each other, but also opportunities for new ideas to further deepen our ties, ideas like the ones we discussed over lunch.

I told Prime Minister Anwar that Singapore deeply values ​​our strong and close bilateral relationship; and that we will continue to pursue win-win cooperation with Malaysia. Our two countries already cooperate substantially in almost every sector – health, education, culture, trade and investment, connectivity and also in emerging areas such as the digital economy and renewable energy.

There are promising projects that we are pursuing together. In particular, I look forward to the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone and the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link. Both will increase the cross-border flow of people, goods and investment and bring our two countries closer together, ultimately benefiting both Malaysians and Singaporeans.

We all know that we are entering a world that is becoming more dangerous, more unpredictable, more turbulent. And in this new environment, our two countries must redouble efforts to work closely together and work in a pragmatic manner for positive results for both sides.

In fact, we are more alike than different. We are two countries with enduring ties of culture, kinship and history. We are both committed to creating more inclusive societies based on good governance and social harmony.

While issues may arise from time to time, as is bound to happen between close friends and neighbors, Prime Minister Anwar and I are committed to addressing them constructively while keeping our overall relationship positive and forward-looking.

In this regard, we had some very frank and productive discussions on our outstanding bilateral issues such as air space, water and maritime border. Discussions are ongoing. Prime Minister Anwar and I agreed that we will continue to provide strategic direction to our officials to make progress in their discussions and then eventually come together to take stock of the next Leaders Retreat. While the issues are complex and may take some time to resolve, we are fully committed to managing them in a way that will enable our overall bilateral relationship to continue to thrive.

Next year, Malaysia will take over the chairmanship of ASEAN. Singapore is confident that under the leadership of Malaysia and Prime Minister Anwar, ASEAN will further develop as a stronger and more integrated community and deepen our relations with our external Dialogue partners.

Once again, let me thank my dear friend PM Anwar for inviting me to pay an early visit to Malaysia and for his strong support for our bilateral relations.

I look forward to returning to Malaysia later this year for our Leaders Retreat and continuing to work closely with Prime Minister Anwar and his team to take our relationship to even greater heights.

Thank you very much. Thank you.




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