International Asia S'pore Foreign Affairs minister hosts Hari Raya gathering for dignitaries

S’pore Foreign Affairs minister hosts Hari Raya gathering for dignitaries

Dr Maliki emphasized the need to build a personal relationship during the informal gathering which was attended by some 20 people

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman hosted a Hari Raya gathering for foreign dignitaries Sunday (June 16).

Unlike most gatherings attended by local and foreign dignitaries, the Sunday conclave did not have the usual podiums, hour-long speeches and display of national flags. Instead, more than 20 foreign dignitaries were treated to what Dr. Maliki called a ‘Raya diplomacy’. The informal gathering was utilised to forge new relationships and fortify existing ties with foreign neighbours.

The foreign ambassadors in attendance included Mr. Mahmoud Daifallah Hmoud of Jordan, Mr. Ahn Young-Jip from South Korea, Ms Lynn McDonald from Canada and Ms Simona Halperin from Israel.

Some political office holders from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei were also there such as Malaysia’s Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong, Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi and Brunei’s Second Minister of Defence Pehin Halbi.

- Advertisement -

A “foreign relations tool”

Dr. Maliki believes that the informal gathering he hosted would allow foreign dignitaries to have a more profound insight regarding Singapore’s way of doing things, its values, its ethics, and what it holds dear.

More than the gains achieved when foreign dignitaries meet at formal events, Dr Maliki said that it is also important to build personal relationships with Singapore’s neighbours in gatherings that are not so solemn and deeply ceremonial.

“Should there be any issues that need to be resolved, the personal relationship, that phone call, is the one that is going to make a difference,” he said.

“That’s really a reflection of their visit to my home today. Because they are all on WhatsApp basis with me.”

Germany’s ambassador to Singapore, Dr Ulrich A Sante, supported Dr. Maliki’s view when he said that such informal networking between diplomats is even more important than formal ones. It is through such gatherings that people understand the differences between different nations and customs, the German ambassador added.

“That’s the way how (sic) we break an eventual deadlock and create peace, stability and prosperity,” he further asserted.

Mr Liew, who was attending the lunch for the first time, said it is good for countries like Singapore and Malaysia, which have “shared traditions, shared history”, to have more meetings, both formal and informal.

Cambodia’s ambassador to Singapore, Mr Nguon Sokveng, also attended the gathering, despite recent unhappiness the Indochinese country had over Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook comments on the 1978 Vietnam invasion of Cambodia.

When asked how such meetings could help resolve the disagreement, he said: “Any conversation would be very good.” /TISGFollow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Jamus Lim argues for more ‘soft infrastructure’ investment despite Singa Bill focus on ‘hard infrastructure’

Singapore — Workers' Party MP Jamus Lim wants the new Singa Bill to allow investments not only in physical infrastructure but also in human capital. There has been a lot of chatter among the intellectual and policy classes worldwide about investing in...

Couple arrested in S’pore for suspected involvement in baby dumping case

Singapore – A man and a woman, both 25 years old, were arrested by the police for allegedly dumping the body of a newborn in Taiwan in 2019. The police confirmed that the pair were taken into custody on Apr 28 following...

Leong Mun Wai rudely shut down by DPM Heng and Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin

Singapore -- Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin rudely cut short Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai's questions during the debate on the Significant Infrastructure Government Loan Act (Singa) Bill on Monday (May 10). Mr Leong noted...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent