SINGAPORE, Aug 12 – Despite a recent spate of back-and-forth over the water agreement and a “game-changing” rail project, Singapore and Malaysia share more common interests than differences, a report in TODAYOnline quoting Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.
The report said Singapore would work to ensure no single issue would dominate bilateral ties.
“Our relationship is not dependent on one single project. We will work with every Malaysian government of the day… on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual respect,” Chan was quoted as saying.
Chan, who is also MP for Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency, was reported as saying this to his constituents at the Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru National Day dinner.
“We see… opportunities for us to work together for mutual benefit. So, it’s on this basis that we will continue to make sure that no one single issue will dominate bilateral ties between the two countries… We hope and we look forward to working closely with our new Malaysian counterparts to take the relationship forward.”
In his wide-ranging speech, Chan addressed global uncertainties over the US-China trade war, as well as those closer to home, such as questions over Singapore’s relationship with the new Malaysian government helmed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The report said Chan noted that Singapore, since its independence in 1965, had built up its water capacity and diversified its water sources.
These include desalinated water and NEWater — used water that is put through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection.
The progress Singapore has made on water security has given confidence that the issue will – “in good time” – cease to be a recurring point of contention between both countries, the minister said.
He further noted that Malaysia’s need for water would grow as its economy expands, paving the way for “opportunities… to work together for mutual benefit.”
Chan did not elaborate, said the report.