Singaporeans living in Malaysia key to bilateral relations: Tony Tan
- POSTED: 19 Sep 2013 15:31
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Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam said close people-to-people ties, especially between Singaporeans living in Malaysia and their Malaysian hosts, are a key part of what binds the two countries together.
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam said close people-to-people ties, especially between Singaporeans living in Malaysia and their Malaysian hosts, are a key part of what binds the two countries together.
Dr Tan was speaking on Thursday at a reception for some 250 Singaporeans living in Kuala Lumpur that was hosted by the Singapore High Commission.
"Each one of you is a representative of Singapore, in your own way. You have played a role in explaining and introducing Singapore to Malaysians. You have also rooted the bilateral relationship for the long term with friendships and kinships," said Dr Tan.
Dr Tan also urged the overseas Singaporeans to stay connected, especially with social media is making it easier for everyone.
"I'm sure some of you would post pictures of today's event on your Facebook pages. If you do, I'd be happy if you could "tag" me as well!" he said.
The gathering included entrepreneurs, students and homemakers.
Keith Wong, group sales manager of Noel Gifts Malaysia, said: "I think Singaporeans that come here should go out more. (They) should meet more people, play sports with them… they really will warm up towards you with sports."
Nadia Bakhtiar, an undergraduate at International Islamic University Malaysia, said: "I invite you to Malaysia, it's actually quite fun. Malaysia is a beautiful country if you explore it. If you don't do that, you won't know what exactly Malaysia is all about."
Dr Tan is on the second day of a state visit to Malaysia.
Education and the arts also featured highly on his itinerary.
Earlier Thursday, Dr Tan, who is Chancellor of the National University Singapore (NUS), visited the University of Malaya (UM).
UM has a shared history with NUS that dates back to 1905.
In 1959, UM split into two campuses, one in Kuala Lumpur, and one in Singapore which later became NUS.
Today, there is a regular flow of Singapore students to UM every year, as well as exchange programmes.
In 2010, 16 architecture students from the two universities took part in a one-month exchange programme on measured drawing and urban studies.
Currently, there are 121 Singapore students studying at UM, mostly in the Malay and Islamic Studies departments.
Dr Tan also visited a Permata nursery in Putrajaya. The nursery is a state funded preschool for children from low income families.
Dr Tan and the Singapore delegation were hosted by the nursery's patron Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Permata means "jewel" in Malay, and the early childhood education programme's founding principle is that every child is precious.
There are about 90 Permata centres across Malaysia and the one in Putrajaya is one of the largest with about 60 students.
Another stop was the Islamic Arts Museum, which has a large collection of Islamic art not just from the Malay world, but also China and India.