Singapore has postponed an annual bilateral meeting with Malaysia following the “intrusion by Johor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Dato’ Osman Sapian into Singapore Territorial Waters off Tuas on 9 Januery 2019.”
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said today (Jan 12) in a media statement that Osman’s visit “made the 14th JMCIM meeting untenable”.
“Singapore, therefore, proposed to postpone the JMCIM meeting, and Malaysia agreed,” said MFA.
The JMCIM (Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia) was scheduled to take place on 14 January 2019.
The committee was set up in 2007 to study how both neighbours can work together in the South Johor economic zone of Iskandar.
The Malaysian delegation at this year’s meeting was supposed to have been led by Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, Johor Mentri Besar Osman Sapian and other Johor state leaders.
“Malaysia on same page as Singapore over postponement of JMCIM meeting” – Azmin Ali
According to a report today (Jan 12) by Bernama, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali Malaysia is on the same page as Singapore over the postponement of the 14th JMCIM.
Azmin who supposed to lead a Malaysian delegation to the meeting, said this was because of certain issues from the meeting which were closely related to matters raised in a bilateral meeting between Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, last Tuesday (Jan 8).
Azmin will be holding meetings with Balakrishnan and the republic’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Monday to further discuss the matters raised before they are brought to the next JMCIM meeting.
Johor’s Chief Minister’s visit to disputed waters not sanctioned by Malaysia’s federal government
Osman had on Wednesday night (Jan 9) published photos of him on Facebook visiting MV Pedoman together with other state officials from Johor.
Melawat anggota dan pegawai Jabatan Laut Malaysia yang bertugas di atas kapal MV Pedoman, kapal induk Jabatan Laut…
According to the Straits Times, an official source who could not be named due to the sensitivity of the matter said that Osman was told “not to do it, yet he went ahead anyway.”