It is good that tensions between Singapore and Malaysia are abating (Singapore welcomes Malaysia's move to reduce tensions: Khaw; Dec 13).
However, it is disconcerting how the situation between two countries with so much in common deteriorated the way it did.
The question still remains: What brought this about?
If the disagreements over territorial waters and airspace were brought about by misunderstandings or are obscuring deeper issues, there is a need for both sides to conduct more talks.
There is also a need for rationality and composure from both sides in handling these matters.
Gunboat diplomacy should be avoided at all costs as it will only complicate matters for not only both sides but also for Asean as a whole.