|Malaysian High Commission, Singapore||Singaporean High Commission, Kuala Lumpur|
|High Commissioner Vacant|
Chargé d'affaires a.i. Jamal Sharifuddin Johan
|High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon|
Malaysia–Singapore relations (Chinese: 马来西亚–新加坡关系; Malay: Hubungan Malaysia–Singapura) refers to the bilateral foreign relations between the two countries Malaysia and Singapore, after the separation of Singapore from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965. Singapore has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur and a consulate general in Johor Bahru, while Malaysia has a high commission in Singapore. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations and ASEAN. Ties between the two countries remain intact despite several diplomatic issues that have arisen.
- 1 Country comparison
- 2 Diplomatic relations
- 3 Socio-economic relations
- 4 Cultural relations
- 5 Security relations
- 6 Transport links
- 7 Other bilateral projects
- 8 Disputes and diplomatic incidents
- 9 See also
- 10 References
|Federation of Malaysia||Republic of Singapore|
|Coat of Arms|
|Area||330,803 km2 (127,724 sq mi)||719.1 km2 (277.6 sq mi)|
|Population Density||92/km2 (240/sq mi)||20,194.1/km2 (52,302/sq mi)|
|Largest City||Kuala Lumpur – 1,768,000||Bedok – 289,750|
|Government||Federal parliamentary elective constitutional monarchy||Unitary dominant-party parliamentary constitutional republic|
|Established||31 August 1957 (Independence from the British Empire proclaimed for the Federation of Malaya)
16 September 1963 (Proclamation of Malaysia)
|6 February 1819 (Established by the British)|
2 April 1955 (Self-government granted from the British Empire)
7 August 1965 (Independence proclaimed for Singapore after separation from Malaysia)
|Predecessor States||Portuguese Colonial Period (1511–1641)
Portuguese Malacca (1511–1641)
Dutch Colonial Period (1641–1825)
Dutch Malacca (1641–1795; 1818–1825)
British Colonial Period (1771–1946)
Straits Settlements (1826–1946)
Federated Malay States (1895–1946)
Unfederated Malay States (1909–1946)
Kingdom of Sarawak (1841–1946)
Crown Colony of Labuan (1848–1946)
British North Borneo (1881–1946)
Japanese Occupation Period (1942–1945)
Occupied Malaya (1942–1945)
Occupied British Borneo (1942–1945)
Si Rat Malai (1943–1945)
Interim Military Period (1945–1946)
Military Administration of Malaya (1945–1946)
Military Administration of Borneo (1945–1946)
Self–Government Period (1946–1963)
Malayan Union (1946–1948)
Federation of Malaya (1948–1963)
Crown Colony of North Borneo (1946–1963)
Crown Colony of Sarawak (1946–1963)
Federation Period (1963–present)
Federation of Malaysia (1963–present)
|British Colonial Period (1819–1946)|
Modern Singapore (1819–1826)
Settlement of Singapore (1826–1942; 1945–1946)
Japanese Occupation Period (1942–1945)
Occupied Singapore (1942–1945)
Interim Military Period (1945–1946)
Military Administration of Singapore (1945–1946)
Self–Government Period (1946–1965)
Crown Colony of Singapore (1946–1963)
State of Singapore (1963–1965)
Independent Period (1965–present)
Republic of Singapore (1965–present)
|First Leader||Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Monarch)
Tunku Abdul Rahman (Prime Minister)
|Yusof Ishak (President)|
Lee Kuan Yew (Prime Minister)
|Head of State||Monarch: Muhammad V||President: Halimah Yacob|
|Head of Government||Prime Minister: Mahathir Mohamad||Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong|
|Deputy Leader||Deputy Prime Minister: Wan Azizah Wan Ismail||Deputy Prime Minister: Teo Chee Hean|
|Legislature||Parliament (Bicameral)||Parliament (Unicameral)|
President: S. Vigneswaran
|Lower House||House of Representatives
Speaker: Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof
Chief Justice: Richard Malanjum
Chief Justice: Sundaresh Menon
|National language||Malay (official), English, Chinese, Tamil||Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and English|
|National anthem||Negaraku (My country)||Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore)|
Singapore and Malaysia enjoy close bilateral relations, and there is an annual Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat for bilateral talks between the two countries. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has suggested in the 2018 Leader's Retreat that Singapore and Kuala Lumpur could potentially be linked up as smart cities, pointing to the themes of resilience and innovation that Singapore has chosen as chair of ASEAN in 2018. Najib has also expressed Malaysia's full support for Singapore's chairmanship of the grouping, and said that the emphasis on the digital economy is something both countries can work on together.
Memoranda of understanding
Numerous memoranda of understanding are signed between leaders of the two nations. A memorandum of understanding for educational cooperation between both countries was renewed on 16 January 2018. In a joint statement, the prime ministers said the agreement, which builds on efforts over the past 10 years, will provide opportunities for officials, educators and students from both countries to carry out exchanges and collaborations on matters of mutual interest.
As at 2015, Singapore is Malaysia's biggest trading partner, with imports and exports totalling approximately US$28 billion. Conversely, Singapore's biggest trading partner is China, followed by Hong Kong and Malaysia respectively. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has suggested that both nations can promote regulations and e-commerce, and encourage electronic payments.
Specifically, Malaysia's southernmost state of Johor has enjoyed close bilateral relations with Singapore. Both territories neighbour each other and share natural resources such as water. In addition, Johor and Singapore, together with Indonesia's Riau Islands, form the SIJORI Growth Triangle. Singapore is consistently one of the top sources of foreign direct investments into Iskandar Malaysia, an economic corridor spanning much of southern Johor. Meanwhile, almost 300,000 Malaysians from Johor transit across the two border crossings between Johor and Singapore - the Causeway and the Second Link - on a daily basis, either for work or education opportunities.
Singaporeans account for a majority of tourist arrivals into Malaysia, at nearly 13 million as of 2016[update]. Malaysia was also Singapore's third largest market in terms of inbound visitors, contributing 8.5% of the total tourists in the city-state in 2012; tourists from Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, Penang, Sabah and Perak formed the bulk of Malaysian tourist arrivals into Singapore in that year.
According to a study conducted by the Singapore Tourism Board, Malaysians tend to view Singapore as an extension of their lifestyle rather than a holiday destination, due to the close geographical proximity, cultural similarities and family ties between the two countries. Aside from leisure, 41% of Malaysian tourists in Singapore cited meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) as their purpose of visit.
Malaysia and Singapore share significant historical and cultural affinities, as both countries have multiracial populations consisting of Malays, Chinese and Indians, and had experienced British colonial rule. These are in addition to cross-border family ties due to migration between the two countries. In recent years, more arts and cultural activities have been jointly organised by artists from both sides of the Causeway, including the Titian Budaya showcase in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 and the Causeway Exchange during the George Town Festival that year.
In particular, Singapore is culturally linked with its former fellow Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca - both of which are now among the 13 Malaysian states. Aside from being governed directly by the British as crown colonies until the mid-20th century, the three territories are renowned for their cosmopolitan populaces, which include the Peranakans. There has been a recent resurgence of Peranakan culture, fuelled by conservation efforts at historic sites and the mass media. One of the key regional events aimed at promoting Peranakan culture is the International Baba Nyonya Convention, which was last held in Penang's capital city of George Town in 2017.
Singapore and Malaysia are part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FDPA), along with New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, in which the five nations are to consult one another in the event of an armed attack on either Malaysia or Singapore. An Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) for both Malaysia and Singapore was set up at RMAF Butterworth in the Malaysian state of Penang in 1971.
The two countries are connected by the Johor–Singapore Causeway and the Tuas Second Link. The Second Link is a bridge connecting Singapore and Johor, Malaysia. In Singapore, it is officially known as the Tuas Second Link. The bridge was built to reduce traffic congestion at the Johor–Singapore Causeway which have been operated since 2 January 1998. The twin-deck bridge supports a dual-three lane carriageway linking Kampong Ladang at Tanjung Kupang in Johor to Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim at Tuas in Singapore. The span over water is 1,920 metres (6,300 ft). On the Malaysian side, the bridge is connected to the Second Link Expressway (Malay: Lebuhraya Laluan Kedua Malaysia-Singapura), also known as Linkedua Expressway, which links from Senai North Interchange Exit 253 at North-South Expressway, Senai Airport and Taman Perling, Johor Bahru via its extension known as Johor Bahru Parkway. In Singapore, the bridge connects to the Ayer Rajah Expressway.
The Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, a high-speed rail line between Malaysia and Singapore, under development, is scheduled to open in 2024. This long-delayed project required the resolution of a dispute between the two countries over transportation links and Singaporean investment in Iskandar Malaysia in 2010. Malaysian and Singaporean counterparts thereby agreed to modify the Points of Agreement signed in 1990. Specifically, the two sides agreed to move the KTM railway station from Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands and created a joint venture to be called M-S Pte Ltd to develop six parcels of Singapore land, develop a rapid transit link between Tanjung Puteri in Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore, and allow Temasek Holdings and Khazanah to set up a joint venture for the purpose of developing a town in Iskandar Malaysia. The deadline to form the aforementioned joint venture company lapsed on 30 June 2018, thus both nations have to decide to mutually extend the deadline or open an international tender for the rail operator.
Singapore and Malaysia also agreed to build the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail in 2013. The project is expected to be completed by 2026, and would connect Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru to Singapore. Under the administration of the new Malaysian government, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad however announced that Malaysia have postponed the HSR project while Singapore spent S$250 million (US$184 million) on the project and another S$40 million is expected to be spent from August 2018 till the end of 2018. On 18 July 2018, former Malaysian Prime Minister and opposition member of parliament (MP) Najib Razak questioned the government on the economic impact of cancelling the project.
Other bilateral projects
There have been schemes to raise the water levels in Johor's Linggiu Reservoir to meet the needs of both countries. There is an ongoing joint hydrometric modelling study of the Johor River. This has been prompted by the parching of the Reservoir, with its water level dropping to a historic low of 20 per cent after a long spell of rainless days in October 2016. The study aims to help find out why water levels in the Reservoir fell recently, and can also analyse what happens when it rains in Johor, and how this translates into inflows to Linggiu and outflows to the Johor River. The dip in supply was previously pegged to persistent dry weather, as well as large discharges of water to prevent salinity levels downstream from getting too high.
Disputes and diplomatic incidents
Since the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation in 1965, several other differences developed between Singapore and Malaysia, including a dispute over water prices (under the 1961 and 1962 water agreements) and ownership of Pedra Branca, an island off the coast of Johor.
Under the 1962 Water Agreement, Singapore can draw up to 250 million gallons of water per day from the Johor River. This right expires in 2061. There has been numerous disputes between the two nations over the fairness of the deal, with Malaysia arguing Singapore is an affluent nation profiting from Malaysia's water resources due to the deal, and Singapore arguing that its treatment of water and subsequent resale of said treated water to Malaysia is done at a 'generous' price. Malaysia has threatened to cut off the water supply prematurely to pressure Singapore politically.
In May 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in favour of Singapore in its 29-year dispute with Malaysia over a tiny uninhabited island, known as Pedra Branca, The UN court in The Hague ruled by 12 votes to four that sovereignty belonged to the Republic of Singapore. The football field-sized island is valued for its strategic position, due to its location by the Malacca Strait, which carries 40% of the world's trade.
In February 2017, Malaysia filed an application for the revision of the ICJ's judgement. In its filing, Malaysia cited three documents recently declassified by the United Kingdom to support the application. Singapore has set up its legal team to respond to Malaysia's application. The team includes Attorney-General Lucien Wong, Professor S. Jayakumar, Professor Tommy Koh, and former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. Responding to the application, Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said: "I am confident of the eventual outcome, because (we have) strong lawyers (and) a strong case".
On 30 June 2017, Malaysia filed a second application, requesting interpretation over the judgement delivered by the ICJ in 2008 over the sovereignty of Pedra Branca. According to Malaysia, this was "separate and autonomous" from the earlier application filed in February 2017, seeking revision of the ICJ judgement. In response, Singapore said that "Malaysia's request for the ICJ to interpret the judgement is puzzling. Singapore will therefore oppose Malaysia's application for interpretation, which we consider to be both unnecessary and without merit. Singapore is committed to resolving these issues in accordance with international law".
To implement the ICJ's judgement in 2008, Malaysia and Singapore have attempted to implement the 2008 judgement through co-operative processes. Both countries established the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee (MSJTC) to implement the ICJ's judgement, which was inter alia, tasked with addressing the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the territorial waters of both countries. According to Malaysia, the MSJTC reached an impasse in November 2013. Malaysia asserted that one of the reasons was both parties being unable to agree over the meaning of the 2008 judgement as it concerns South Ledge and the waters surrounding Pedra Branca.
Malaysia's latest legal bid, according to international experts, could be an attempt by the Barisan Nasional government to stir up nationalist fervour against a convenient, smaller neighbour, Singapore, ahead of a key general election. In the aftermath of the general election under the new government of Pakatan Harapan, Malaysia has dropped its appeal on the Pedra Branca case while announcing plans to convert the Middle Rocks that are under it’s sovereignty into an island.
- Malaysia–Singapore border
- Pedra Branca dispute
- People's Action Party–United Malays National Organisation relations, the ruling parties of Singapore and Malaysia
|Library resources about |
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