08 September 2016
Singapore-Malaysia relations have reached the best-ever period in their history. While the current generation of leaders has helped to improve relations institutional norms of diplomacy and mutual respect for each other’s interests are necessary to ensure strengthening of bilateral ties.
In his National Day Rally speech on 21 August 2016 Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that although Singapore-Malaysia relations are “sensitive” and “complex”, ties between both countries remain good. He cited the settlement of the Points of Agreement (POA) on the Railway land with his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Najib Razak and the signing of the Memorandum (MOU) on the High Speed Railway as examples of excellent relations between both countries.
These positive developments symbolise the marked improvement of bilateral ties since 2003. Indeed, strong political will and a new generation of leaders who are not weighed down by historical baggage have led to the best-ever period in the history of Singapore-Malaysia relations. While top leadership and personalities play a major role in shaping bilateral ties, established institutional norms of diplomacy and mutual respect for each other’s interests are necessary to ensure the continued improvement of bilateral ties.
… David Han is a Research Analyst with the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 13/09/2016