January 31, 2023
SINGAPORE – Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and jointly seize opportunities in the digital economy and green economy, and to work closely on data protection and cyber security.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim witnessed the signing of three agreements covering these fields on Monday, during Datuk Seri Anwar’s first official visit to the Republic since he was sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister on Nov 24.
The deals followed a meeting between President Halimah Yacob and PM Anwar, where both leaders affirmed the warm and longstanding partnership between Singapore and Malaysia, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Two agreements were signed between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry to cooperate in the digital economy and the green economy.
As Malaysia’s first green economy agreement signed with any country, the partnership is expected to strengthen collaboration to decarbonise both countries’ industries and help businesses and workers seize opportunities in the green economy.
The agreements will see the two neighbours deepen cooperation in areas such as the setting of standards and the deployment of charging points for electric vehicles, and jointly explore projects in low-carbon solutions, in particular hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage.
The two sides will also exchange information on carbon markets, explore collaboration between their companies in carbon credits projects, and look at developing new and renewable energy-related technology standards to support domestic and regional decarbonisation.
The digital economy framework of cooperation will seek to enhance cooperation beyond what is spelt out in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, two trade agreements that both Singapore and Malaysia are signatories to.
The agreement also hopes to spur greater digital economy cooperation within Asean. It will include areas such as trade facilitation, cross-border data flows, electronic payments, digital identities – including efforts to support the development of the Asean Unique Business Identification Number – and support the digitalisation of industries and small businesses to enhance their competitiveness.
The third agreement is a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of personal data protection, cyber security and digital economy between the Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information and Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital.
It will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, expertise and best practices in areas such as data protection policies and cross-border data flows, tackling common cyber security threats and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology.
Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz signed the two frameworks of cooperation for digital and green economy. The third agreement was inked by Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo and Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil.
The signings followed an official welcome ceremony at the Istana, after which PM Anwar called on President Halimah. He then had a meeting with Prime Minister Lee, who also hosted an official lunch in his honour.
In a Facebook post after their meeting, Madam Halimah said she and PM Anwar took stock of the wide-ranging cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia, including during the Covid-19 pandemic where both sides worked to ensure that trade continued.
“Despite the challenging economic times ahead, PM Anwar and I agreed that our two countries should work even more closely together and maintain regular channels of communication among our leaders and people,” she said.
In the morning, PM Anwar and his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had an orchid hybrid named in their honour.
The Dendrobium Anwar Azizah produces semi-arching sprays of about 45cm in length that bear around 20 to 28 well-arranged flowers. The sepals have a mauve background adorned with purple striations, while the petals are velvet purple and complemented by a broad and vivid violet lip.
Mr Anwar is accompanied by Minister of Transport Anthony Loke, Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil, Premier of Sarawak Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari and Menteri Besar of Johor Onn Hafiz Ghazi. He will engage with the Malaysian community here before departing Singapore on Monday evening.