Malaysia will take “effective measures” to de-escalate tensions with Singapore, Wisma Putra said.
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry today called the Singaporean High Commissioner to discuss the latest development arising from the Declaration of Alteration of Port Limits for Johor Baru Port published on Oct 25, 2018, and the Singapore Port Marine Circular No. 9 of 2018 dated Dec 6, 2018.
“During the discussion, the ministry welcomed Singapore’s continued emphasis on the importance of dialogue, and its willingness to engage with Malaysia in resolving matters amicably, along with its consideration of Malaysia’s proposed agenda for the bilateral discussion.
“Malaysia is also agreeable to Singapore’s counter-proposed dates in January 2019,” Wisma Putra said in a statement yesterday.
“Malaysia will take all effective measures to de-escalate the situation on the ground, reaffirming its position to handle the situation in a calm and peaceful manner.
“In the meantime, Malaysia reiterates the importance of strong bilateral relations between both countries and hope that discussions will commence expeditiously,” it said.
The dispute started with the declaration by Malaysia, published in the Federal Gazette, of an alteration to the Johor Baru Port limits on Oct 25.
Singapore protested the move, claiming it was done unilaterally.
Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry has accused its Singapore counterpart of disclosing partial and selective information over the proposed Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedure for Seletar Airport.
Its minister Anthony Loke said while it appreciated Singapore’s efforts at promoting transparency by releasing documents related to consultations held with Malaysia on Dec 4, the disclosure was “partial and selective with the primary aim of influencing public opinion”.
Loke also urged the ministry to release the letters from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore dated Oct 9, Nov 15, Nov 21 and Nov 28, 2018.
“Failing to do so, we are prepared to release the letters for full disclosure of such information,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Malaysia had protested the new ILS proposed for Seletar Airport as its flight path would affect height restrictions on development in Pasir Gudang.
Earlier yesterday, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, poised to be the next prime minister of the republic, has expressed the hope that Singapore and Malaysia will discuss their maritime issues “constructively and peacefully, in compliance with international law, he said on his Facebook account, according to Bernama.
Also in the post, he urged Malaysia to cease the alleged intrusions of Malaysian government vessels into Singapore territorial waters, saying they are a violation of Singapore’s sovereignty and international law.