World

PM Lee, Najib officially open Marina One development

Development outcome of 2010 S'pore-M'sia pact

In the heart of Singapore's Marina Bay district, a gleaming complex of steel and glass buildings soar 30 storeys high.

Yesterday evening, Marina One was officially opened by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

At the same time, Duo, a mixed-use development in the nearby Ophir-Rochor district, was lit up to mark its official opening.

The developments are the outcome of a historic pact between Singapore and Malaysia in 2010 and reflect the turn in the ties between the two neighbours after a 20-year impasse.

During the deadlock, the countries wrangled over plots of railway land in Singapore that Malaysia had previously controlled.

Eventually, in return for the three plots and another three plots in Bukit Timah, Singapore offered four parcels of land in Marina South and two parcels of land in Ophir-Rochor for development.

M+S, a joint venture company by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings, developed Marina One and Duo on the six land parcels. Both are integrated developments that include office, residential and retail spaces.

SYMBOLS

M+S chairman Azman Yahya said: "We hope that these two developments will serve as lasting visible symbols of the harmonious bilateral ties shared between our two countries for future generations."

He noted that the projects are "symbolic of the longstanding strong partnership between Malaysia and Singapore".

The mixed-use projects have a combined gross development value of $11 billion.

Marina One's tenants include Swiss private bank Julius Baer and consulting firm PwC Singapore, while Duo houses Andaz Singapore, a high-end hotel brand in the Hyatt chain.

Mr Najib, who arrived in Singapore yesterday, attended the joint opening of Marina One and Duo ahead of the eighth Singapore-Malaysia leaders' retreat today.

He also called on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana for the first time since she took office and was hosted to a private dinner by Mr and Mrs Lee.

The two prime ministers have held leaders' retreats almost every year since Mr Najib came to Singapore on an introductory visit in 2009.

The two leaders and their delegations will hold discussions today.

Both men will witness the signing of an agreement for the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan, who is also the Transport Minister, and Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

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