BOAO, Hainan (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday (March 30) reaffirmed the close ties shared by both countries at a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in Hainan, China.
During the meeting, the two leaders reviewed the progress both countries have made in bilateral cooperation, following Datuk Seri Anwar’s visit to Singapore in January. It was Anwar’s first visit to the Republic after he was sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister in November 2022.
Lee and Anwar had witnessed then the signing of three agreements for Malaysia and Singapore to strengthen bilateral cooperation and jointly seize opportunities in the digital economy and green economy. The countries also agreed to work closely on data protection and cyber security.
After the bilateral meeting on Thursday, Anwar posted on Facebook saying that he hopes the close relationship between Singapore and Malaysia will become stronger. Lee also posted on Facebook that he had a fruitful catch-up with Anwar.
Lee, who arrived in Beijing on Thursday evening and was welcomed by Vice-Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, added that he was glad to see fellow leaders and friends, including Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Boao Forum for Asia chairman Ban Ki-moon, at the annual conference.
He added that he is looking forward to meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping to deepen bilateral ties and cooperation between Singapore and China. Lee and Xi are expected to meet on Friday.
Before his flight to Beijing, Lee had a separate meeting with Feng Fei, Communist Party chief of Hainan, where they discussed economic developments in Singapore and Hainan, and explored collaboration opportunities. They also discussed having Singapore as a launch pad for companies in Hainan to venture into South-East Asia, in a move to increase economic exchanges.
Lee, along with Anwar and other leaders who spoke at the Boao plenary, also attended a lunch hosted by Premier Li.