Welcome Remarks by Minister George Yeo at the Signing Ceremony of the Settlement Agreement of the case Concerning Land Reclamation
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OF THE
CASE CONCERNING LAND RECLAMATION BY SINGAPORE
IN AND AROUND THE STRAITS OF JOHOR
(MALAYSIA V SINGAPORE)
26 APRIL 2005, SINGAPORE
WELCOME REMARKS BY MINISTER GEORGE YEO
Dato' Seri Syed Hamid
Dear Malaysian friends
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 This is a happy occasion which Singapore is honoured to host.
2 Today, Malaysia and Singapore will sign the Settlement Agreement of the Reclamation Case. The Agreement will be inked by Wisma Putra Secretary General Tan Sri Fuzi and Professor Tommy Koh, who are our Agents. Dato' Seri Syed Hamid and I have the happy task of witnessing the signing. With the signing, we will be closing an old chapter on a bilateral dispute which began during a period of more troubled bilateral relations but ends today in an atmosphere of warmer bilateral cooperation.
3 In fact, this spirit of bilateral cooperation has been prevalent throughout the past year-and-a-half. The working relationship between our officials was excellent. This collegial spirit infected the group of international experts that Malaysia and Singapore had appointed to assist us in the resolution of our dispute. The good work of our officials and the international experts has enabled to arrive at an amicable settlement, which both countries see as fair and balanced. The civil and civilised manner in which we have been able to settle this dispute gives us confidence that our other bilateral disputes can be settled in the same way. As neighbours, it is inevitable that bilateral disputes should arise from time to time. We have demonstrated in this case and in the Pedra Branca case that where there is an impasse, rather than let our bilateral relations be held hostage to the dispute, we are prepared to have the matter referred to third party adjudication or arbitration. As good neighbours, we can overcome such disputes on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual respect.
4 It now gives me great pleasure to invite Dato' Seri Syed Hamid to give his opening remarks. Thank you.
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