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Malaysian ministers Azmin and Saifuddin express optimism over bilateral relations




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According to Malaysia’s Minister for Economic Affairs Mohamed Azmin Ali, the momentum of Malaysia’s relationship with Singapore is ‘very positive’.

Azmin was here from January 13 to 14 (Sunday to Monday), for meetings with several ministers concerning bilateral issues.

He told Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday, January 16, “I must say the meeting was very productive, very good and the momentum of our relationship is very positive.”

While the Malaysian minister acknowledged the issues between the two countries, he also made clear that he didn’t want “a particular statement by any side” to distract from the resolutions both governments want to achieve.

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He said, “We want to ensure that Singapore and Malaysia will continue to enjoy (a) very close working relationship because we want to ensure that this is the right time for us to enhance our cooperation especially in this particular region.”

Azmin expressed optimism regarding bilateral ties, even though Singapore had decided to postpone the scheduled Iskandar joint ministerial committee talks due to the unauthorized visit from Johor’s Chief Minister, Osman Sapian, to one of Malaysia’s government vessels currently in Singapore’s waters.

Another Malaysian minister also expressed optimism over the between the two nations. Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said that relations remain good and that the important thing is that discussions about issues are ongoing.

“Our relations with Singapore remain good. There are some issues but we are talking to each other, and that is very important.  Most importantly, the discussions are going on. I am confident the discussions are moving in the right direction.”

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He specifically named four important people engaging in discussions concerning bilateral issues: Azmin, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, and Foreign Ministry secretary-general Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob.

“We just have to continue talking to our Singapore counterparts.”

Read related: Ng Eng Hen: Security agencies ordered to exercise restraint for now against Malaysian vessels


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