4 key things that came out of the meeting between Singapore’s PM Lee and Malaysia’s PM Mahathir

According to a statement from the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, the two PMs discussed “issues of mutual concern” between the neighbouring countries.
The Straits Times

On Tuesday (April 10), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad met in Putrajaya for the ninth Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat.

According to a statement from the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, the two PMs discussed “issues of mutual concern” between the neighbouringcountries.

Here’s four key things you should know about their discussion:

#1: Negotiations will start over maritime boundaries 

The Straits Times

Both countries will set up a joint committee by next month to resolve disputes over the Johor Bahru Port Limits off Tanjung Piai and Singapore Port Limits off Tuas. The committee will be chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

Both countries are also looking to precisely define their official maritime boundaries in accordance with a Territorial Waters Agreement signed in 1995.

This will also help resolve outstanding claims for South Ledge, which falls in “overlapping territorial waters” between Singapore’s Pedra Branca and Malaysia’s Middle Rocks, according to the International Court of Justice.

Read also: Singapore, Malaysia suspend implementation of overlapping port limits

#2: Both countries will work to reduce congestion on the Causeway and Tuas Second Link

Shin Min Daily News

Both leaders agreed to explore initiatives such as the use of new technology to improve security and efficiency at immigration checkpoints on the two major roads.

The countries also agreed to finalise the terms of the suspension of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link Project, which would have linked Woodlands with Johor Bahru by MRT.

Read also: Singapore’s decision to deny entry to all foreign vehicles with outstanding fines caused a jam at the causeway, and Malaysians aren’t too happy about it

#3: Both sides are considering arbitration to solve disputes on the water price

The Straits Times

The two leaders “noted the differing positions of both sides on the right to review the price of water under the 1962 Agreement,” and agreed to discussions between their respective Attorneys-General on the topic to reach an “amicable” solution.

Read also: PM Mahathir says Johor govt, people must speak up on the Singapore water agreement

They added that arbitration – if mutually-agreed upon – was a possible dispute resolution method.

Both sides are also considering schemes to increase the yield and safeguard the water quality of the Johor River.

Read also: Singapore’s water supply disrupted after ammonia leaked into Malaysia’s Johor River, where it gets water from

#4: There might be an eSports exchange programme in the future

The Straits Times

Both leaders said they welcomed potential cooperation in the areas of youth and sports, especially eSports, and were considering the feasibility of eSports development through volunteerism, leadership and exchange programmes.

Read also: Over 3 in 4 Singaporeans in study believe e-sports shouldn’t even be classified as a sport – and the majority also think it causes Internet addiction