Transport ministers from both countries will meet to discuss the RA and the Seletar ILS procedures
By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to simultaneously suspend permanent restricted area (RA) over Pasir Gudang airspace and implementation of the instrument landing system (ILS) procedures for Seletar Airport for a month.
In a joint press statement issued yesterday, both countries’ foreign affairs ministers reiterated their commitment to preserving the vital relationship between both countries.
“The foreign affairs ministers agreed that both sides would immediately simultaneously suspend Malaysia’s permanent RA and Singapore’s implementation of the ILS procedures for Seletar Airport, for a period of one month in the first instance.
“They agreed that, in the meantime, transport ministers from both countries should meet soon for discussions on the RA and the Seletar Airport ILS procedures to ensure the safety and efficiency of civil aviation,” the statement read.
Bernama reported that Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his Singapore counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan met yesterday morning in the republic to discuss airspace and maritime disputes.
Previously, it was reported that Malaysia remained committed that any aircraft lan- dings at the Seletar Airport cannot utilise Malaysia’s airspace in Pasir Gudang.
On Dec 12, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the flight path would have a large impact on the Pasir Gudang development due to the height restrictions and place the port under a high risk.
Meanwhile, to address the maritime issues surrounding the two port limits, both countries have agreed to set up a working group to discuss the legal and operational matters to de-escalate the situation and provide a basis for further discussions and negotiations.
“The working group will be headed by Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry permanent secretary Chee Wee Kiong, and Malaysia Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, comprising of relevant senior officials,” it said. It is expected to report to the foreign ministers within two months.
The Malaysian Reserve previously reported that analysts saw only a downside to the two countries prolonging the disputes over air and sea limits.
The bilateral spat on maritime boundaries resurfaced on Dec 4 when the republic claimed Malaysia’s recent limit extension had extended into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas.