Singapore fully supports Malaysia as ASEAN Chair 2025

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 (Bernama) — Singapore fully supports Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2025, said Singapore’s Prime Minister Lawrence Wong as he expressed readiness to work together towards a stronger and more integrated ASEAN.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his introductory visit on Wednesday, Wong expressed confidence in Anwar’s leadership in steering ASEAN forward.

“Singapore is confident that under Malaysia and Prime Minister Anwar’s leadership, ASEAN will develop further as a stronger and more integrated community, and will deepen our relations with our external dialogue partners.

“There is still a lot of scope for us to work even more closely together. So, Singapore will fully support Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN, and we hope to work together to set an ambitious and forward looking agenda for ASEAN for the next 10 to 20 years,” he said.

On the need to bolster the economic standing of ASEAN, Wong cited the many positive collaborations between Malaysia and Singapore, including the establishment of the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone and the Rapid Transit System Link, which could serve as models of cooperation for ASEAN to advance economic integration for mutual benefits.

While noting that ASEAN had made progress over the past 20 years, Wong said there was still significant economic potential waiting to be unlocked, especially in emerging sectors such as the digital economy and renewable energy.

“What ASEAN ought to be doing is to strengthen our economic integration as one. So, I’m very hopeful that Malaysia and Singapore can provide a strong anchor for a stronger and more integrated ASEAN community,” he said.

Earlier, Wong and his spouse, Loo Tze Lui, were hosted to a luncheon by Anwar where both leaders discussed a broad range of issues concerning the two countries, including the water agreement, airspace and maritime borders, economic cooperation, and regional issues of interest.

Also present were Anwar’s wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Malaysia’s Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon were also present. 

Wong, 51, was sworn in as Singapore’s fourth prime minister on May 15, replacing Lee Hsien Loong who stepped down after 20 years at the helm.