SINGAPORE, Oct 26 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah hopes that the comprehensive and symbiotic relations between Malaysia and Singapore will continue to flourish for the benefit of both countries and the people.
His Majesty said due to this, it was important for both countries to work together, cooperate and collaborate amid the changing global geo-politics, geo-economic and geo-strategic landscape.
“Similarly, as the founding members of ASEAN, Malaysia and Singapore should continue to collaborate with one another and with the rest of ASEAN, as well as with our preferred partners to ensure Southeast Asia will be a region of peace, stability and prosperity.”
Al-Sultan Abdullah said this at a state banquet held at The Istana here today, in conjunction with the state visit by His Majesty and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah to the island republic.
Tunku Azizah was also present at the state banquet, which was also attended by Singapore President Halimah Yacob and her husband, Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong further said that Malaysia and Singapore also had a close, longstanding, deep-rooted and comprehensive relationship that continued to grow from strength to strength.
Al-Sultan Abdullah said this could be seen through Malaysia-Singapore trade that increased to SD128 billion in 2021 despite the disruptions and limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was informed that our trade might reach SD150 billion in 2022. Our people-to-people ties are strong. Many Malaysians and Singaporeans have relatives and friends who live and study across the causeway.
“More than 300,000 Malaysians commute daily to work in Singapore and contribute to its development. Likewise, our cultural and heritage linkages are also strong,” said the King.
Their Majesties arrived here Tuesday for a state visit, which will end on Friday.
The visit reflects the close bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore which were established 57 years ago.
Meanwhile, Halimah in her speech, said bilateral cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia has grown from strength to strength despite unprecedented challenges such as COVID-19 which led to the closing of the causeway linking both countries previously.
“We have always worked closely together in areas such as trade, investment and tourism. We remain each other’s second-largest trading partner.
“COVID-19 was the test of our generation. Despite the unprecedented challenges, we worked together tirelessly to ensure the safe movement of goods, services and people across the border,” she said.
Halimah also said that Al-Sultan Abdullah, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, has stood firm as a pillar of stability and assurance to the rakyat in addition to being a symbol of unity for Malaysia.
“…it behooves us to continue to strengthen trust and understanding between our two countries and to work together for mutual benefit for our people,” she added.