Singapore

PM Lee to visit M’sia to meet Dr Mahathir on Saturday

Last week's general election in Malaysia that saw Barisan Nasional lose power for the first time was a "momentous development" that bears watching closely.

It is one of several major developments around the world that Singapore has to pay heed to as it navigates a turning point in its own history, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

"As Malaysia's closest neighbour, we need to pay close attention to our relationship with them. The two countries have deep historical, economic and people-to-people ties. We hope Malaysia is stable and prosperous," he said.

While Singapore enjoyed good relations with Malaysia under former prime minister Najib Razak, it also worked with current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and members of his team, said Mr Lee, announcing he plans to visit Malaysia on Saturday to meet Dr Mahathir.

He said he knows former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim well as he was Mr Lee's counterpart when he too was deputy prime minister.

Mr Lee also touched on Indonesia, which is having its national elections next year.

He has good working relations with President Joko Widodo, as he did with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono previously, he said.

"I hope we can maintain friendly and productive ties with Indonesia too," said Mr Lee. "Regardless of political cycles and election outcomes, we will work hard on relations with our two neighbours.

"Their success makes for a more peaceful and prosperous region, and that is good for us."

- YASMINE YAHYA

MORE IN THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

Singapore Politics