Singapore-Malaysia Relations under Abdullah Badawi
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Ever since Singapore departed suddenly from the Federation of Malaysia on 9 August 1965 to emerge as an independent sovereign state, relations between the two immediate neighbours have not always remained on an even keel, sinking to the worst level during the later period of the Mahathir...
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When ISEAS was established in 1968, it was only three years after the separation of Malaysia and Singapore. It was to be expected that the relationship between the two countries at that stage was not at its best. There was much unhappiness in the air on both sides of the Causeway, not only at...
About the Authors
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Saw Swee-Hock is Professorial Fellow and Adviser to the Malaysia Study Programme at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the London School of Economics. He was formerly Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, and founding...
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Since Singapore left Malaysia to become an independent country some forty years ago, bilateral relations between the two neighbours, bound by centuries of historical and economic ties, have undergone many stages of ups and downs. The period stretching from 1997 to 2002 under the Mahathir...
1. Resolving Bilateral Issues
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Ever since Separation in 1965, both governments had made serious efforts to resolve a number of issues. In 1988, the then two Prime Ministers Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Mahathir Mohamad agreed to have all the outstanding issues resolved as a package. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was...
2. Intensifying Official Visits
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On becoming Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi made a visit to Singapore in October 2003 as part of the overall courtesy visits to neighbouring countries in the ASEAN region. Abdullah put forth his view on how bilateral ties could be improved. He said, “We can make things move forward by getting some things...
3. Developing People-to-People Contacts
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When Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, called on President Nathan in April 2005 during the Presidential visit, he emphasized the importance of people-to-people ties. He said, “We should encourage more visits, more tourist arrivals from Singapore and Malaysia and vice versa, and explore...
4. Deepening Public Sector Economic Links
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After Abdullah Badawi became Prime Minister, the leadership in both countries made it a point to send the right signals to the business communities in both the private sector and the public sector with government-linked companies. In his talks with President Nathan in Kuala Lumpur in April...
5. Expanding Private Sector Economic Links
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The much improved atmosphere between the two neighbours arising out of the leadership change in Malaysia has resulted in a resurgence of economic activities among not only government-linked companies but also companies in the private sector. In some instances, the heightened cross-border business activities...
6. Renewing Educational and Sporting Events
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It may be recalled that in his Presidential visit to Malaysia in April 2005, President Nathan visited the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur to be briefed on the centennial celebrations by the University and the National University of Singapore and the exchange of students and staff between the two universities...
7. Uplifting Future Relations
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The Abdullah administration, commencing more than two years ago, had made a significant impact on the much-improved relations between the two neighbouring countries. The reclamation issue has been amicably settled and the dispute over Pedra Branca is under arbitration in the International Court...
APPENDIX A: Speeches by Malaysia’s Agong and Singapore’s President Kuala Lumpur, 11 April 2005
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APPENDIX B: Speeches by Singapore’s President and Malaysia’s Agong Singapore, 23 January 2006
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APPENDIX C: Malaysians’ Comments on Singapore-Malaysia Relations
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APPENDIX D: Singapore Businessmen’s Comments on Singapore-Malaysia Relations
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Page Count: 103
Publication Year: 2006