MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



10 APRIL 2024

Monday, February 27, 2023

Anwar an old friend of Singapore, says republic’s minister


Anwar Ibrahim (left) with Singapore foreign affairs minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in January. Anwar is expected in Singapore for a leaders’ retreat later this year. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Singapore’s foreign affairs minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has described Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim as “an old friend” of the republic, despite the occasional hiccups that exist in any friendship.

Among these problems was the issue of Batu Puteh, an islet off Johor which was the centre of a sovereignty dispute between the two countries.

Balakrishnan said while the issue of sovereignty had been settled, Malaysia had raised objections to Singapore’s development works at the site. He said the work was suspended in May 2022, to facilitate discussions on Malaysia’s concerns.

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“We will manage our differences constructively and pragmatically and not allow any single issue to overshadow the entire relationship,” he said, Bernama reported.

Balakrishnan said Singapore looked forward to welcoming Anwar again later this year for the 10th leaders’ retreat.

On Dec 14, Anwar said Malaysia would seek “meaningful negotiations” with Singapore on Batu Puteh, which the republic calls Pedra Blanca.

Sovereignty over Batu Puteh was awarded to Singapore by the International Court of Justice in 2014. Malaysia applied to overturn the ruling in 2017 but the application was withdrawn by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

On Oct 9 last year, then prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Cabinet had been told that there was possible negligence and oversight on Mahathir’s part over the Batu Puteh claim. - FMT

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