Singapore welcomes ‘familiar’ Muhyiddin

Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

PETALING JAYA: Singapore has welcomed Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as prime minister, saying the former Johor menteri besar is “familiar” with the island republic.

In an interview with ChannelNews Asia, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said Muhyiddin had been a key negotiator in Singapore’s 1990 supplementary water agreement during his nine-year tenure as menteri besar.

“He’s completely familiar with this, so I’m sure he’ll be able to hit the ground running,” he said.

He added that Singapore hopes for continuity in terms of major projects such as the high-speed rail, the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link and ongoing discussions on the water agreement.

“All these are live issues, there are deadlines and some decisions need to be made. So we’re waiting for the appointment of the Cabinet and we’ll take it from there.

“They’ve been through a dramatic week but we wish them all the very best,” he said.

Muhyiddin took office on Sunday after what has been described as the longest week in Malaysian politics. He was named the next prime minister after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, interviewed all 222 MPs and consulted party leaders.

He served as menteri besar of Johor from Aug 13, 1986 to May 6, 1995.