Joint Statement By Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Dato'Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak at the Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat in Singapore on 19 February 2013


1                     Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak met in Singapore on 19 February 2013 for the Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat.  The Prime Ministers welcomed the excellent progress in bilateral relations since the Putrajaya Retreat in January 2012, and reaffirmed their commitment to a stronger and mutually beneficial partnership, especially amidst an uncertain global economy. 


2                   The Leaders noted the progress of the joint developments by Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited in Singapore (by M+S Pte Ltd) and in Iskandar Malaysia (by Pulau Indah Ventures Sdn Bhd).  These are strategic projects that reflect the high degree of trust and complementarity between both countries.  In Singapore, the Prime Ministers witnessed the unveiling of the Marina One project in Marina South and received an update on the DUO project in Ophir-Rochor.  In Malaysia, they also witnessed the ground-breaking and unveiling of the Urban Wellness project in Medini North, as well as the unveiling of the Resort Wellness project in Medini Central.


3                 Recognising that a dynamic and successful Iskandar Malaysia benefited both Malaysia and Singapore, the Leaders agreed to intensify existing cooperation and explore new ways to leverage on the complementarities between Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia.  In this regard, the Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the work of the Iskandar Malaysia Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC), including the final composition and Terms of Reference of the Industrial Cooperation Work Group.  They also agreed to strengthen connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia, such as through the Rapid Transit System Link, for which Phase 1 of the Joint Engineering Study is nearing completion.  They also welcomed the initiative by the JMC to study measures to address traffic and congestion issues on the Causeway, as well as the feasibility of a third road link between the two countries in the longer-term.


4                  The Prime Ministers agreed to build a High Speed Rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.  This is a strategic development in bilateral relations that will dramatically improve the connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore.  It will usher in a new era of strong growth, prosperity, and opportunities for both countries.  It will facilitate seamless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, enhance business linkages, and bring the peoples of Malaysia and Singapore closer together.  Ultimately, this project will give both countries greater stakes in each other’s prosperity and success.  The Leaders tasked the JMC to look into the details and modalities of the High Speed Rail link.


5                  The Prime Ministers took note of the expected commencement in 2013 of operations of the new ferry terminal and Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities in Puteri Harbour.  Ferry services will be operating between Puteri Harbour and Singapore, subject to the regulators’ evaluation of the services.  The Prime Ministers agreed that the JMC will continue to explore further links to improve connectivity between both countries.


6                  The Leaders welcomed the close inter-agency cooperation on environmental issues with transboundary implications and navigational issues through platforms such as the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore-Johor Port Authority Operational Meeting.  They agreed to continue cooperating on such issues of mutual concern.  They also emphasised the importance of adopting best practices for addressing areas of environmental concern, including the implementation of mitigation measures, where appropriate. 


7                 Both Leaders also noted the progress of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee on the Implementation of the ICJ Judgment on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (MSJTC) which has held six meetings so far.  The Leaders welcomed the successful completion of the Joint Survey Works in and around Pedra Branca and Middle Rocks and agreed that the next step would be for the MSJTC to move into the delimitation of maritime boundaries.


8                 Recalling that both sides affirmed the terms of the 1962 Water Agreement during the January 2012 Leaders’ Retreat, the two Prime Ministers took note of the importance of implementing the necessary measures to ensure reliable water supply from the Johor River as provided under the 1962 Water Agreement.  The Prime Ministers encouraged the Singapore and Johor water authorities to continue their excellent working relationship.


9                 The Leaders welcomed the excellent relations and regular interactions between the two civil services.  Since the last Retreat, Singapore hosted the 4th Joint Seminar and 35th Public Service Games for Public Sector Leaders in April 2012, while Malaysia hosted the Inaugural Joint Seminar Programme for Deputy Secretaries-General of Malaysia and Deputy Secretaries of Singapore in September 2012.  Both civil services look forward to the 5th Joint Seminar and 36th Public Service Games for Public Sector Leaders that Malaysia will host in May 2013. 


10               The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction that both sides had resolved to expand the 700 MHz digital dividend radio frequencies, in harmonisation with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity band plan, for the deployment of mobile broadband services with the relevant spectrum.  The expanded frequencies are expected to be made available after the period of conversion from analogue to digital broadcasting, taking into consideration regional spectrum coordination arrangements.


11                Both Prime Ministers underscored the importance of ASEAN unity to enhance its central role in the region’s evolving architecture.  They expressed confidence in ASEAN’s progress towards its 2015 ASEAN Community building goals, and looked forward to advancing ASEAN integration and maintaining regional stability in the year ahead. 


12                The Prime Ministers agreed to have the next Retreat in 2014 in Malaysia.


19 February 2013, Singapore

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