DEPUTY Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean was on a working visit to Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu from 4 to 9 September 2018. DPM Teo was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sim Ann, and Chairperson of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law, Christopher De Souza.
DPM Teo called on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in Putrajaya during his visit. They reaffirmed the warm and mutually beneficial relations between Singapore and Malaysia. Both Deputy Prime Ministers also agreed that both countries should continue to work closely together across a wide range of areas, including that of strengthening social cohesion, enhancing people-to-people ties, and promoting security cooperation.
Following the call, Prime Minister Mahathir, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and DPM Teo jointly witnessed the signing and exchange of legal documents to vary the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Bilateral Agreement by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Minister of Economic Affairs of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali. Both countries agreed to suspend the construction of the HSR Project for a period up to 31 May 2020, and for Malaysia to bear the agreed costs in suspending the project. Malaysia will also bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR Bilateral Agreement if Malaysia does not proceed with the HSR Project by 31 May 2020. During the suspension period, Singapore and Malaysia will continue to have discussions on the best way forward
for the HSR Project with the aim of reducing costs.
DPM Teo had tea with Minister of Works of Malaysia Baru Bian and Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change of Malaysia Yeo Bee Yin. DPM Teo and the Ministers exchanged ideas on how both countries could work with and learn from each other to address common challenges. DPM Teo also met senior Malaysian business leaders and
Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, also met his Malaysian counterpart, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, on 4 September 2018 in Putrajaya. Minister Balakrishnan and Dato’ Saifuddin reaffirmed the strong and longstanding bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia. The Ministers discussed ways that both countries could work together in a constructive manner bilaterally, and in the context of ASEAN, for the benefit of both countries. They also exchanged views on a range of issues of common interest, including Singapore’s priorities as ASEAN Chair in 2018 and the situation in Rakhine State. Minister Balakrishnan was part of the delegation accompanying Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean on a working visit to Malaysia and will join Deputy Prime Minister Teo’s meetings in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya on 4 and 5 September 2018.