Merdeka Day: Singapore leaders congratulate Malaysia

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written congratulatory letters to their Malaysian counterparts ahead of Malaysia's 60th Merdeka Day today. They paid tribute to Malaysia's significant progress and development over the past six decades, and the close ties between Malaysia and Singapore.

In his letter to the King of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V, yesterday, Dr Tan wrote: "I am confident that under Your Majesty's wise counsel and vision, Malaysia will continue to enjoy peace, prosperity and harmony."

Dr Tan noted that Singapore- Malaysia ties are flourishing, underpinned by the deep friendship between both peoples and a shared commitment to work together for the mutual benefit of their countries. "Singapore and Malaysia enjoy an excellent relationship and have good cooperation across all sectors," he said.

These close ties will be further enhanced with upcoming bilateral projects such as the Kuala Lumpur- Singapore High Speed Rail and the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, he added.

In his letter to Prime Minister Najib Razak, PM Lee lauded Malaysia's strong and vibrant economy, and its active and influential role in the region and the international community. "As Malaysia's close neighbour, Singapore too has benefited from Malaysia's stability and prosperity," he said.

"Singapore deeply values our friendship and cooperation with Malaysia. We share a long history with strong people-to-people ties and closely interlinked economies," added PM Lee, noting that both are among each other's top trading and investment partners.

The two countries work closely in multilateral arenas such as Asean and the United Nations, he noted.

"In an increasingly unpredictable global environment, our two countries need to work even more closely to tackle common threats and challenges, including radicalisation and terrorism. I am confident that our two governments will continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation and work for our shared vision of a stable, cohesive and connected Asean."

PM Lee also looked forward to welcoming Datuk Seri Najib in Singapore for the eighth Singapore- Malaysia Leaders' Retreat later this year.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also wrote to his Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman, noting that both countries enjoy an excellent relationship. "I am confident that we will continue to build on the solid foundation that we have to strengthen our bilateral ties for many years to come," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'Merdeka Day: Singapore leaders congratulate Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe