Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan says that while Singapore needs to stay watchful regarding Malaysia’s development, the country’s biggest concern is how the bilateral relationship between the United States and China plays out.
“What happens in Malaysia is very important to us…but that is not the main strategic change that is imperative for the plans that we are unfolding right now in Singapore.”
Dr. Balakrishnan said this in response to a question from the media at the 13th Malaysian Journalists Visit Program. He was asked regarding the challenges and opportunities the nation has since May 9, the game-changing elections in Malaysia, which was won by the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister said, “I don’t date everything to May 9. The most important thing right now is the evolving bilateral relationship between the US and China … It is still unfolding in front of us.
The US and Europe are our biggest source of foreign direct investment. Any trade war, even trade tensions, is a cause of great concern for us. All that didn’t change on May 9 for us.”
Dr. Balakrishnan also emphasized two other important issues that Singapore is facing at the moment: leadership succession and restructuring that Minister economy, both of which, he said, were unaffected by May 9.
Another question posed to Dr. Balakrishnan concerned what he thought of comments from Anwar Ibrahim, who said he expects that the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore will improve in the next years.
Dr. Balakrishnan said, “Yes, we are glad that he has indicated that he views good bilateral relations as something necessary and positive for us.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister did allow for some differences in perspective between the two nations.
“To me, I don’t view any particular issue as something that will derail the larger strategic relationship. So yes, it’s good for leaders to say they want good relations, but I look beyond individual leaders.”