MO,1/2/2018, SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed interest in developing closer relation between the island republic and East Malaysia. “A lot of business can be done between Sabah and Singapore,” he said during a courtesy call by a Sabah delegation led by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman at the Istana here. Lee said the last time he was in Sabah was in 1984 and he would like to return for another visit soon.
Meanwhile, Musa said Sabah could learn a lot from Singapore in terms of economic diversification, human resource development and city planning. “Singapore has achieved successes in numerous fields and we can benefit from their story,” he said. He said Sabah was diversifying its own economy from being primarily timber based to service based like tourism because the state has high tourism value.
“We hope this visit will further strengthen ties and potential areas of business cooperation between Singapore and Sabah,” said Musa, who is on a two-day working visit to Singapore. Earlier the delegation had a luncheon meeting with Singapore Senior Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman at the latter’s office. The senior minister extended his appreciation to the Sabah government for the assistance extended during the tragic 2015 earthquake in Sabah that took the lives of several climbers on Mount Kinabalu, including schoolchildren from Singapore.
Musa expressed his sympathy towards the families of those who perished and said the authorities, including the mountain guides, did their level best to rescue the victims. Among those in the delegation were Deputy Chief Minister and state Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Industrial Development Minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, Special Tasks Minister Datuk Seri Teo Chee Kang and State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman.