Wednesday, October 21, 1998

Malaysia Wants To Cooperate With Neighbours - Toyad

KUALA LUMPUR Oct 20 - Malaysia is always striving to cooperate and develop the region together with its neighbours, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad told the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) today.

''We are not inclined to create problems for our neighbours as our policy is to cooperate and help develop the region,'' he said when replying to Mohamad Sabu (PAS-Kubang Kerian) who sought clarification about the statement attributed to Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister that the strain in Malaysia-Singapore relations has not reached the level of the two countries going to WAR.

Toyad said that Malaysia hopes that the leader concerned will weigh any implication carefully before making such a statement.

''We have always believed that the region's peace and stability depends on the people of this region,'' he said.

To a question from Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang), Toyad said the government has no plans to review its relations with Singapore.

''The Government will resolve all outstanding issues with Singapore even though it may be difficult and take time,'' he said.

He said the spirit of neighbourliness, the shared history and some degree of tolerance have to be considered in resolving bilateral issues between Malaysia and Singapore.

To another question from Abdul Hadi of Batu Puteh, Toyad said both countries has agreed to refer the Batu Puteh issue to the International Court of Justice.

On the use of Malaysian airspace by Singapore military aircraft, he said Malaysia has explained the requirements clearly to the republic particularly for search and rescue operations.

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