Singapore leaders congratulate Malaysian counterparts ahead of 60th Merdeka Day

Performers wave the Malaysian national flag during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Aug 31, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan have written congratulatory letters to their Malaysian counterparts on Tuesday (Aug 30), ahead of Malaysia's 60th Merdeka Day on Wednesday (Aug 31).

They paid tribute to Malaysia's significant progress and development over the past six decades, as well as to the close ties between Malaysia and Singapore.

In his letter to Malaysia's Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, Dr Tan said: "I am confident that under Your Majesty's wise counsel and vision, Malaysia will continue to enjoy peace, prosperity and harmony."

The President also highlighted how Singapore-Malaysia ties are flourishing, noting they are 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 Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, he added.

Meanwhile, PM Lee praised Malaysia's strong and vibrant economy, adding that it plays an 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 in a letter to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak .

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

Singapore and Malaysia also 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," he said.

PM Lee also looked forward to welcoming PM Najib in Singapore for the 8th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat later this year.

Dr Balakrishnan called Malaysia's stability and socio-economic progress "an inspiration for many other countries around the world".

In his letter to Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, he said that Singapore and Malaysia enjoy an excellent relationship and are close partners within Asean.

"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.

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