Malaysia-Singapore discussions will determine next course of action — Saifuddin

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): The next course of action after the one-month postponement of Malaysia’s permanent restricted area (RA) over Pasir Gudang airspace and Singapore’s implementation of the instrument landing system (ILS) procedures for Seletar Airport, depends on a series of discussions between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said what was important was for both countries to reach an agreement and prove that issues and disputes involving Malaysia and Singapore could still be negotiated.

“That is more important to me,” he told reporters after watching the ASEAN Basketball Match between Westports Malaysia Dragons and San Miguel Alab Pilipinas here last night.

He said the move taken by both countries in naming the persons who would head the discussions and the timeline for it showed that there was already an ‘agreement’ between the two countries.

The immediate and simultaneous one-month postponement was stated in the joint statement issued after the bilateral meeting between Saifuddin and his Singapore counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan Tuesday morning in the republic to discuss the airspace and maritime disputes.

They also agreed that, in the meantime, transport ministers from both countries should meet soon for discussions on the RA and the Seletar Airport ILS procedures to ensure the safety and efficiency of civil aviation.

On maritime issues surrounding the Johor Bahru and Singapore port limits, the two ministers agreed to establish a working group headed by the permanent secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong and the secretary-general of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob.

The working group is to report to the foreign ministers within two months.

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