MFA Spokesman's Comments on the CPF and CLOB issues

Asked to comment on a Mingguan Malaysia report (16 Jan 2000) in which Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid was reported as saying that the CPF and CLOB issues were not included in the package of outstanding bilateral issues discussed between senior officials of Singapore and Malaysia, an MFA spokesman said "The CPF and CLOB issues are part of the package of outstanding bilateral issues discussed by senior officials of both countries. The package also includes the long-term supply of water to Singapore, the POA, the RSAF's use of Malaysian airspace and the location of Malaysia's CIQ in Singapore."

2 The spokesman noted that Dr Mahathir himself had told the press on 17 Dec 98 (after his meeting with PM Goh Chok Tong in Hanoi) that "it is best that we resolve as a package, including of course the problem of CPF and CLOB." The MFA spokesman said that the Malaysian side had subsequently requested at the meeting in March last year that the CLOB issue be taken out of the package. The Singapore side had responded that there was already an agreement between KLSE and SES (now SGX) for the migration of CLOB shares, and that any solution to the issue should therefore be consonant with this agreement. The Singapore side had also pointed out that the CLOB issue should not remain outstanding when the package was finally resolved.

3 The spokesman added that the CPF issue had been discussed at all three rounds of senior officials' meetings held in March, April and May last year.

4 The spokesman further noted that Prime Minister Goh had said that he hoped to meet Dr Mahathir after Chinese New Year to discuss outstanding bilateral issues, and Dr Mahathir was reported to have said that he was agreeable to a meeting.

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18 JANUARY 2000

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