Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, agreed to look into the possibility of cooperation on iconic projects within the Iskandar Malaysia region in Johor, in order to symbolize the cooperation between the two neighbouring states.
The informal agreement was reached over lunch at the Thai resort town of Pattaya, Thailand, where both leaders were gathered in anticipation of the ASEAN+6 summit that was to be held over the weekend.
Najib described the lunch meeting as informal, stating that “It was more of a chit-chat, an informal getting to know each other on a closer basis”.
A further meeting between the two leaders, apparently suggested by Lee, that was scheduled for after the 14th ASEAN summit was postponed when the summit itself was abruptly cancelled, due to security breaches of the summit’s venue by hundreds of red-shirted protesters campaigning against Thai Prime Minister Abhisit.
Iskandar Malaysia, with a land size of 2,217sq km, three times the size of Singapore, has been targeted to be developed into a vibrant metropolis in southern Peninsular Malaysia with various economic pillars — health, education and financial services, creative industries, electrical and electronics, petrochemicals and oleochemicals, food and agro-processing, logistics and related services, and tourism.
There already exists a bilateral mechanism for joint development in Iskandar Malaysia, the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) for Iskandar Malaysia, which held its 4th meeting earlier this month. The JMC has four joint work groups on immigration, transportation, tourism and environment, with an agreement to conduct feasibility studies on identifying potential tourism products that involve both Malaysia and Singapore.
The next JMC meeting will be held later this year.
The Star online, KL and Singapore to look into Iskandar projects , 12 April 2009, http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/4/12/nation/3681313&sec=...
The Malaysian Insider, Malaysia, Singapore to work on iconic projects in Iskandar Malaysia , 12 April 2009,http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/23025-malaysia-sin...
Channel NewsAsia, Malaysia-Singapore JMC for Iskandar Malaysia meets , 5 April 2009,http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/420259/1/...