S'pore and Malaysian home affairs ministers reaffirm working ties

Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam (far left) with his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. PHOTO: K. SHANMUGAM/ FACEBOOK
Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam (left) with his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. PHOTO: K. SHANMUGAM/ FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR • Singapore's Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam met Malaysia's Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on an official visit to Kuala Lumpur yesterday, during which the two ministers reaffirmed their close working ties and discussed several issues.

Referring to Tan Sri Muhyiddin as "an old friend", Mr Shanmugam said on his Facebook page that their two ministries have enjoyed a close working relationship.

"Our law enforcement agencies have similarly worked well together. We reaffirmed these ties and agreed on the need to keep in close contact," he said.

Mr Shanmugam said they discussed developments in the areas of drug enforcement and the mandatory death penalty, as well as immigration and border control.

He also invited Mr Muhyiddin for an official visit to Singapore.

According to Malaysian daily The Star, Mr Muhyiddin said they discussed Malaysia's plan to decriminalise drug addiction.

"At the moment, our stand is that not all who are in prison due to drugs are offenders. Some may not be well. That is why we have decided (to look at) the way forward in terms of their welfare," he was quoted as saying by The Star.

He stressed, however, that serious drug offences would continue to be punished under existing laws.

Mr Muhyiddin told reporters that he had conveyed to his Singapore counterpart Malaysia's stand on the mandatory death penalty, and that judges could be given discretion to mete out such punishment.

He said they also discussed the issue of border security.

"I personally raised the need to set up a central system or border force at our borders to ease all sorts of issues there," he said, according to The Star.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore and Malaysian home affairs ministers reaffirm working ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe