Malaysia's Foreign Minister Hishammuddin visits Singapore, post-pandemic cooperation to be discussed

Malaysia's Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (left) will meet Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during his trip. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore is hosting an official visit by Malaysia's Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Saturday (May 1) and Sunday, during which he is expected to discuss post-Covid-19 cooperation between the two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Saturday that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, and meet Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during his trip.

This is Mr Hishammuddin's first official visit to Singapore in his capacity as Foreign Minister, said Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement, it said the two Foreign Ministers will discuss issues of common interest, including initiatives to further develop mutually beneficial collaboration, focusing on post-pandemic cooperation.

They will also be exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The Malaysian ministry added that Mr Hishammuddin is reciprocating a working visit made by Dr Balakrishnan to Malaysia in March.

During his Malaysia visit, Dr Balakrishnan met Mr Hishammuddin, and the two countries agreed to work towards recognising each other's vaccine certificates to facilitate cross-border travel.

They also agreed to progressively restore cross-border travel for other groups of travellers, in addition to the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), which is currently suspended, and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

Under the PCA, approved travellers must remain in their country of employment for at least 90 days before returning to their home country for short-term home leave.

Such travellers can cross the border only at the Causeway and Second Link. Upon entering Singapore, they must serve a 14-day stay-home notice before being swabbed for the virus.

The RGL between Singapore and Malaysia is meant to facilitate short-term essential business and official travel between the two countries.

It allows for travel of up to 14 days, and those under it must follow a strictly controlled itinerary. For instance, they cannot use public transport except for private-hire cars and taxis.

Singapore's MFA said on Saturday that during the visit, Dr Balakrishnan will join Mr Hishammuddin in the breaking of his fast.

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