Singapore aims to extend suspension of Pasir Gudang restriction, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singapore aims to extend suspension of Pasir Gudang restriction

This article is more than 12 months old

Singapore is seeking to extend a mutual one-month suspension of two measures while it thrashes out airspace issues with Malaysia.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan sought to extend the suspension of Malaysia's restricted area over Pasir Gudang and new landing procedures at Seletar Airport to give officials "more discussion time to reach a win-win outcome".

Mr Khaw said he made this proposal to his Malaysian counterpart Anthony Loke, whom he met here for a "heart-to-heart discussion".

"He will take my suggestion back to his Cabinet colleagues," Mr Khaw said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Also writing on Facebook, Mr Loke said he had a "fruitful and constructive meeting" with Mr Khaw.

"We agreed on the way forward to solve the Seletar Airport issue, and the civil aviation authorities of both countries will continue the discussion on the technical aspects," he added.

This is the third time the two ministers have met, after previous meetings in Putrajaya and Bangkok last year.

They will meet again after Chinese New Year to continue the discussion over airspace, Mr Khaw said.

Singapore and Malaysia are embroiled in a dispute over the Republic's introduction of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) for Seletar Airport and Malaysia's subsequent decision to declare a restricted zone over Pasir Gudang for the purpose of military activities.

On Jan 8, both countries agreed to simultaneously and immediately suspend - for one month in the first instance - the restricted area and the ILS for Seletar.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah in Singapore.

The disagreement over flight procedures for Seletar Airport is part of a larger air dispute that includes Malaysia wanting to take back management of airspace over south Johor, a task that was delegated to Singapore in 1974.

Singapore and Malaysia are also locked in a maritime dispute, sparked by Malaysia's unilateral decision to extend the Johor Baru port limits in October, and subsequent intrusions by Malaysian government vessels into Singapore waters.