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PM Lee, Malaysia's former PM Muhyiddin speak of 'strong cooperation' between countries in phone call

PM Lee, Malaysia's former PM Muhyiddin speak of 'strong cooperation' between countries in phone call
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (left) and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) met at the midway point of the Causeway on Jul 30, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday (Aug 26) spoke of the close relations and "strong cooperation" between both countries, Mr Lee's press secretary said in response to media queries.

She confirmed that they spoke in a phone call, after Mr Muhyiddin posted about it on social media.

"During the telephone conversation, PM Lee and former PM Muhyiddin spoke of the close relations and strong cooperation between both countries," said Mr Lee's press secretary. 

"PM Lee also wished former PM Muhyiddin all the best for the future."

Mr Muhyiddin resigned on Aug 16 after losing majority support of the House. His successor, Mr Ismail Sabri Yakoob of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, was sworn in on Aug 21.

Mr Lee and Mr Ismail Sabri spoke in a call on Sunday, during which both leaders affirmed Singapore's and Malaysia's "longstanding, deep, and broad-ranging relations".

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Muhyiddin said he received a phone call from Mr Lee during which the prime minister expressed appreciation for the good relationship and cooperation both forged over the past year.

Mr Muhyiddin said he hopes to continue to play a role in aspects of bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia, and that he is "confident" the good relationship between the two countries will grow under the leadership of Mr Ismail Sabri.

"Personally, I really appreciate the value of friendship shown by Mr Lee," said Mr Muhyddin, recalling their first in-person meeting as prime ministers to witness a ceremony for the resumption of the Rapid Transit System Link project at the Causeway last July. 

Mr Muhyiddin is president of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leading the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Earlier in August, a number of UMNO lawmakers, led by party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, withdrew their support for Mr Muhyiddin, compromising his already razor-thin parliamentary majority.

The 74-year-old left office after just 17 months - the shortest-serving prime minister since Malaysia's independence in 1957.

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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