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PM Lee Hsien Loong will meet PM Dr Mahathir during 9th Leaders’ Retreat in April

Last October, the annual Leaders’ Retreat that was supposed to be held in November was postponed due to scheduling constraints on the Malaysian side.

Prior to this, the 8th edition of the retreat was held Singapore on 16 January this year between former premier Najib Razak and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson confirmed with Channel NewsAsia via email that the proposed date of the 9th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat will be taking place on 8 and 9 April 2019 in Putrajaya.

“Singapore has agreed to Malaysia’s proposal,” the spokesperson added.

This would be the first Leaders’ Retreat hosted by the Pakatan Harapan government after they won the general election held in May last year.

On Tuesday (26 March), Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah announced the dates of the retreat in parliament; in response to the current status between Malaysia and Singapore in light of the recent airspace and maritime disputes, brought up by Selayang Member of Parliament William Leong.

Mr Saifuddin said that the Leaders’ Retreat is an “important mechanism” for strengthening bilateral cooperation and resolving issues for mutual interests between the two countries. He also affirmed that “priority will be placed on finding peaceful solutions through discussion and negotiation”.

He also referred to previous exchanges by the countries that displayed their close relationship, including his visit to Singapore in January as well as other government ministers’ visits such as those by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and Transport Minister Anthony Loke.