PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday (May 19) in Putrajaya.
Mr Lee arrived at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya at about 11am for the meeting, and left at about 11.40am. He is the second foreign leader - after Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - to meet Dr Mahathir since the Pakatan Harapan coalition won the election on May 9.
Mr Lee also met People's Justice Party leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was granted a royal pardon earlier this week. Mr Anwar and his wife, deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was greeted warmly and garlanded with flowers when he arrived at around 12.30pm for the meeting at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel in IOI Resort City.
Mr Anwar, speaking to the media after the meeting, called Mr Lee an “old friend”.
“I’ve known him when I was the finance minister and deputy prime minister, so to me it’s a real pleasure to be able to see and meet him and discuss. Essentially we believe in a stronger bilateral relationship,” he said.
Mr Lee said in Parliament on Wednesday (May 16) that he would visit Dr Mahathir and tell him that he looks forward to working with him again for "mutual benefit".
He also added that he is on familiar terms with Mr Anwar, who is expected to take over as prime minister of the country in due course.
On Thursday, Dr Mahathir said that his government was still figuring out its stand on certain issues. He was responding to questions on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, and whether it would be on the agenda during his meeting with Mr Lee.
An agreement to develop the HSR was signed at the end of 2016. Dr Mahathir has said that all major projects will be reviewed by the new government.