Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong And Mahathir’s First Meeting Since The Election

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent his weekend catching up with an old friend of his father; the newly minted Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Upon his return to Singapore, PM Lee was immediately swarmed with media outlets eager to know of any possible developments on hot-button topics.

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) is one example of such issues as the HSR deal to connect both countries has been described as unnecessary by Dr Mahathir.

In a very brief 30-min meeting, the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia reportedly had an “exchange of views”.

However, no “substantive bilateral issues” were discussed in the 30-minute meeting, according to PM Lee.

Rather, it was more of a “courtesy call”, similar to the one he shared with US President Trump.

The difference being that he met Dr Mahathir in person, of course.

The meeting

At the onset of the meeting, PM Lee started things off on a warm note by adding on to his congratulatory letter by saying,

You are our nearest and closest neighbour, so when this happened I thought I would come up soon, touch base, renew our links.

According to the PM on Facebook, the topics of discourse ranged from “bilateral relations to updates on recent developments”.

After the events of the day, which also included a brief chat with Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Wan Azizah, who is widely tipped to be next up as Prime Minister after Dr Mahathir.

Reminiscing about the past

PM Lee and Mr Anwar were both Deputy Prime Ministers of their respective countries in the 1990s. Reminiscing about the past, he told reporters that they used to “exchange visits”.

With their last meeting over 20 years ago, you can see why Mr Anwar was so eager to pay PM Lee a visit at his hotel, the Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya.

PM Lee expressed thanks that Dr Mahathir took time out to speak with him on a Saturday during Ramadan in his post, after the meeting.

Staying the course

Indeed, the 30-minute meeting between PM Lee and Dr Mahathir was nothing but a truncated courtesy call.

We think it’s heartening to see leaders on either side dedicated to maintaining the warm relations nurtured by Mr Najib Razak.

A far cry from the confrontations Dr Mahathir once had with founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Although no “substantive bilateral issues” were discussed, we look forward to an enduring partnership ahead with our closest neighbour.

Featured image from Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook.