As good neighbours, Malaysia and Singapore must resolve water supply issues, says Anwar

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to accelerate finding resolutions on outstanding issues such as the water agreement and maritime boundary delimitation, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said issues related to water agreement are complex and should be resolved amicably and should not deter both countries from exploring new avenues.

"There is no question that the water issue is quite established and that we need to sell water to Singapore. Similarly on FIR (flight information region), there is no question that this is required by Changi (Airport). The issue is to get details to resolve (them). The faster it can be done, the better for the country," he said at a joint press conference with his Singaporean counterpart Lawrence Wong, here on Wednesday (June 12).

Anwar said the same approach should be taken for issues related to maritime boundary delimitation between both countries.

"If you ask me...I assured Prime Minister Lawrence Wong that ... our staff works at a faster pace. It would be wonderful if could resolve this before the bilateral meeting towards the end of the year," he said.

Resolving outstanding issues between the two neighbours said Anwar, could take some time, but nevertheless, there is firm commitment by both sides to resolve it.

"The issue... to my mind is clear, we need to resolve it – there is no way we can get out of it. It is something that as a good neighbour we have to get this.

"...and I am a bit ambitious, I want this to be showcased to the region and world how good neighbours should behave and interact," said Anwar.

Meanwhile, Wong said both countries' commitment towards resolving outstanding issues is a guidance for officers to continue discussion in a constructive manner.

"At least, even we can't resolve (the issues) completely, we can see very good progress by the time we meet at the upcoming leaders' retreat (end of this year)," he said.

Wong said he and Anwar had a productive discussion which lasted for more than an hour and touched on new areas of cooperation to deepen ties.

According to him, both leaders also agreed to provide strategic direction to officers before they meet up again during the Annual Leaders' Retreat hosted by Malaysia later this year.

He said both countries are committed to forging more inclusive society based on good governance and social harmony as well as to tackle issues constructively while keeping overall relations between both neighbours positive. – Bernama

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