PM Lee congratulates PM Mahathir on his swearing in, hopes to catch up in person

Tun Mahathir Mohamad being sworn in as Malaysia's seventh Prime Minister at the Palace on May 10, 2018. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VIDEOTV3MALAYSIA OFFICIAL

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated Dr Mahathir Mohamad on being sworn in as Malaysia's 7th Prime Minister.

Writing on Facebook on Thursday night (May 10), Mr Lee said: "I wish Tun Mahathir and his team every success, and hope to catch up with him in person soon.

"Malaysia is a vital partner of Singapore, and our peoples share strong and deep bonds. I look forward to working with Tun Mahathir and the new government to enhance our cooperation. We can do much more together."

Dr Mahathir was sworn in at the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur after the opposition coalition he led - Pakatan Harapan - won a simple majority in Wednesday's general election.

The 92-year-old also served as Malaysia 4th Prime Minister. He returned to politics after former prime minister Najib Razak's government was hit by a corruption scandal involving the state-owned company 1MDB.

In a statement after Thursday's swearing-in, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also congratulated Dr Mahathir and his coalition on their election victory, and pledged to work closely with the new government to develop ties between the two countries.

The statement said: "The people of Malaysia have given the new Government a clear mandate to lead the country. Malaysia is Singapore's nearest neighbour and a vital partner. We have had close relations and extensive cooperation with successive Malaysian governments, including the government of Tun Mahathir when he was previously Prime Minister.

"We look forward to cooperating with Tun Mahathir and the new Government of Malaysia to further strengthen and deepen bilateral ties, for the benefit of both our peoples."

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