PUTRAJAYA • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will meet his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia today for the ninth Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat.
The annual meeting, an important platform to discuss bilateral issues and strengthen cooperation, was to have been held last November but was postponed. This is the first Leaders' Retreat with the Pakatan Harapan government, which came to power last May.
The retreat venue alternates between the neighbours.
In a statement yesterday, Singapore's Prime Minister's Office said that PM Lee will have a bilateral meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir this morning.
Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said of the leaders' four-eyes meeting in a statement: "They are expected to discuss issues of mutual concern, review progress of existing bilateral cooperation and explore new areas of cooperation for mutual benefits."
This will be followed by a delegation meeting involving the two leaders and their accompanying ministers and senior officials.
Dr Mahathir and his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali will then host lunch for PM Lee, Mrs Lee and the Singapore delegation.
PM Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee and nine Cabinet ministers: Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.
Their Malaysian counterparts are also slated to be at the meeting.
Malaysia's Foreign Ministry also noted that Malaysia and Singapore are each other's second-largest trade partners. Both countries have strong cooperation in the areas of investment, education, defence, agriculture, transportation, information and communication, and disaster management, as well as the civil service, it added.
PM Lee arrived yesterday evening at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he was welcomed by Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke and inspected a guard of honour. Mr Loke earlier met Mr Khaw to discuss bilateral transport matters.