Singapore, as Malaysia’s closest neighbour, will respect the decision of the country’s leaders and is looking forward to continuing bilateral cooperation between the two countries, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at Parkroyal on Kitchener Road Hotel on Tue (25 Feb).
Responding to reporters’ request for comments on political developments currently unfolding in Malaysia, Mr Heng — who is also the Republic’s Finance Minister — said that the current political upheaval in Malaysia is a “domestic” issue, and expressed his hope that the political parties in Malaysia will “come to some agreement expeditiously”.
Noting that Singapore and Malaysia are currently in the midst of multiple joint projects such as the Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail, Mr Heng said that Singapore will be ready to work with the government of the day to proceed with such mega-infrastructure projects.
He added that Singapore is also keen on continuing to cooperate with Malaysia under a joint working group recently set up to deal with the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“There are many areas of cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore that we can pursue, that we must pursue to strengthen one another, as well as to to work together in Asean to maintain the unity and centrality of Asean,” he added.
Malaysia on Mon was rocked by the resignation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, which came on the heels of swirling rumours regarding certain factions in the Malay-centric Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) parties attempting to form an alliance with Umno and other opposition parties in a bid to establish a new government.
PKR cadres Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin were sacked from the party for “betraying” the party, Malay Mail reported.
Dr Mahathir has since resumed his duties as the interim prime minister after being asked by Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah — Malaysia’s king and head of state — to stay on.
Sources told Reuters that Dr Mahathir intends to spearhead a unity government and has invited lawmakers from across rival political parties to join said coalition.
He had reportedly mooted the idea to the chiefs of Malaysia’s main political parties this morning, both from the Pakatan Harapan coalition and the Barisan Nasional alliance, the latter of which governed Malaysia for over six decades until the 14th General Election in May 2018.
“There won’t be any political entity. We might be a government of no parties,” one of the sources said.