Singapore PM Lee to meet Malaysian PM Anwar during his visit to the republic beginning Monday (Jan 30)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the latter visited Singapore in 2018. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (The Straits Times/ANN): Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will visit Singapore on Monday, his first official visit to the Republic since he took office on Nov 24.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also Malaysia’s Minister of Finance, will attend a welcome ceremony at the Istana.

He will call on President Halimah Yacob and have a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who will also host an official lunch in his honour.

MFA said Anwar’s visit “underscores the close and enduring relationship between Singapore and Malaysia, and our peoples”.

The two leaders will witness the signing of three agreements during the one-day visit.

These are the framework agreements on the digital economy and green economy between Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, as well as a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in personal data protection, cyber security and digital economy between Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information and Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital.

Anwar will be accompanied by Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister of Transport Anthony Loke, Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil, Premier of Sarawak Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari, and Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan called on Anwar in Malaysia earlier in January, and reaffirmed the excellent longstanding relations between the two countries.

Dr Balakrishnan said trade continued to grow despite the disruptions led by Covid-19. In 2021, total trade between both countries amounted to $128 billion.

One of the upcoming bilateral projects is the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, which is on track to be completed by end-2026.

Dr Balakrishnan added that new bilateral collaborations in areas such as the digital and green economies are important to reduce climate change and lessen carbon footprints.

PM Lee spoke with his newly sworn-in Malaysian counterpart in November 2022, and invited Anwar to visit Singapore.

PM Lee said close coordination between the governments had allowed for the flow of essential goods and workers, and the swift reopening of borders.

He also noted that the two bilateral framework agreements on green and digital economies will create new opportunities for businesses and people.

During his Singapore trip, Mr Anwar and his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will also have an orchid hybrid named in their honour. - The Straits Times/ANN

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