Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	SINGAPORE 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	17/12/81 

I wish to thank my good colleague, His Excellency Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, for
the warm hospitality and friendly reception accorded to me, my wife and
members of my delegation on the occasion of my first visit to Singapore as
Prime Minister of Malaysia.

2. I am happy to be in this busy and bustling city again. Every time I am
here I am amazed at the rapid pace of development and transformation
taking place. Like other visitors, I am particularly impressed by the
cleanliness and the abundance of greenery which has softened the hardness
of the concrete skyscrapers. I am confident, under the able leadership of
Prime Minister Lee, Singapore will continue to grow and prosper in the
coming years.

3. Malaysia and Singapore have many things in common due to a large extent
to our geographical proximity and historical experience. We also share a
convergence of priorities and values, particularly our preoccupation with
uplifting the socio-economic well-being of our peoples, our concern to see
that democratic ideals and principles are preserved and our vigilance in
the eradication of subversive threats aimed at undermining our security
and resilience. While I acknowledge that in the broad sense our objectives
converge, nevertheless because of the peculiarities of our respective
settings, emphasis and style differ somewhat. Malaysian society, for
example, is heterogeneous as compared to Singapore's which is almost
homogeneous. Our population is largely rural whilst Singapore's is almost
entirely urban. Because of these and other peculiarities, the government
machinery, its administrative and implementational style and scope must
also differ. An appreciation of these differences is as important as the
acknowledgement of the common historical and geo-political backgrounds in
the fostering of understanding between our two countries.

4. I am happy to note that Malaysia-Singapore relations have improved
tremendously during the last few years. This is a gratifying
development. It would, therefore, be to our mutual advantage to endeavour
to further develop and continue the rapport and understanding that have
been nurtured between our two countries. It is partly with this in view
that my predecessor, Tun Hussein Onn, had agreed to the setting up of the
Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) of the two Governments. May I reiterate
my firm support and confidence in the IGC in fulfilling its tasks and thus
further enhancing our bilateral relations.

5. I have had a long association with this country, even before it became
independent. As a student in Singapore some 30 years ago I made a lot of
friends among Singaporeans who are now very prominent citizens of this
Republic. I can say that this experience is not unique to myself
alone. There are many Malaysians who have shared similar experiences and
have long-standing friends in Singapore, among them are some members of my
delegation. So I cannot see any reason why what we do in Malaysia need
earn the mistrust and suspicion of Singapore, and vice versa. We can
always call up each other, and frankly discuss our mutual problems when
they arise. Unfortunately, this connection of the old days in schools or
universities is no longer possible among the new generations of Malaysians
and Singaporeans. While it prevails, however, we should do our utmost to
strengthen the foundation of good relations for the benefit of future
generations of our two countries.

6. I rejoice over the rapid progress and prosperity of Singapore because
it also means that Malaysia will continue to have a happy and stable
neighbour. An unhappy Singapore can be destabilising to Malaysia, likewise
discontent in Malaysia can affect Singapore. Singapore leaders have spared
no effort in developing the Republic into a country with a united
citizenry and similarly, we in Malaysia, have been moulding the country
into a united and disciplined nation. Singapore's success story in the
economic and social fields cannot but be a model for Malaysians rather
then an object of envy. What we do within our own country is, therefore,
contributory and complementary towards each other's progress. For example,
I cannot see why Singapore has to bolster its defences except to
complement the defence capability and greater resilience of this region
against any external threat to the security of this area. And of course
the security of the region is the security of Malaysia. In fact, such is
the link between our national defences that we have agreed and cooperated
within the Five Power Defence Arrangement. Neither have we even once
ceased to cooperate in matters relating to the threat of subversion
against our society. The security apparatus of our two nations continue to
cooperate closely against any subversive and criminal elements that could
affect our stability even when political leaders are openly
squabbling. All these go to prove that we share common objectives and we
are likeminded in endeavouring to continue with our close bilateral
cooperation and to resolve issues before they become problems. This common
interest which links our nations' respective destiny, I believe, should
not only be preserved but further enhanced.

7. May I draw attention to one of the hazards of modern international
relations. We live in a world of instant communication which has spawned
instant events, instant interviews and instant comments. There is not much
time to think before commenting on events of grave international
significance during a long distance instant interview
telecast. Consequently, comments are made unthinkingly almost literally
from the gut. The result is disaster for the relationship between
nations. We hope that the good relations we are trying to build up between
out two countries will not have this latest spanner thrown into the works.

8. Under the present Malaysian leadership, ASEAN will continue to feature
prominently in Malaysia's foreign policy considerations. Since its
inception in 1967 ASEAN has gained tremendous momentum and respect so much
so it is recognised today as a regional entity and force in all matters
pertaining to the region and indeed the world. Despite early scepticisms,
ASEAN has proven to the world to be a viable and cohesive grouping. This
credibility has to be sustained and we, who are its members, must
collectively work to preserve this image, to preserve the recognition and
respect that ASEAN has achieved.

9. Let us always bear in mind that ASEAN is unique in that it is not only
a grouping of five sovereign nations each with a mind of its own but there
exists a warmth of feeling for each other which transcends the basic
contractual obligations that we have enshrined in the Bangkok Declaration
of 1967. Nowhere else have we seen a group of nations deliberating on the
future of each other's well-being with so much sincerity and
goodwill. ASEAN's commitment transcends limited and localised national
outlooks, and so renders possible a more daring programme for the future
based on a peaceful and stable Southeast Asia. Clearly, in certain matters
regional interest supercedes those of the narrower national
objectives. The ASEAN spirit that we have nurtured enables the conference
table and peaceful negotiation to replace threats and armed conflicts in
the settlement of disputes. Hence, we deplore the foreign armed
intervention in Kampuchea as contrary to our belief in the conduct of
inter-state relations and a violation of our common programme for a Zone
of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality. We are together in advocating these
principles and more, in strengthening our common stability and national

10. Singapore and Malaysia are not new in resisting internal communist
subversion. The events in the Indochina states has brought communism
closer to our door step. But, so long as the principle of non-interference
in the internal affairs of states is recognised, and for so long as the
sanctity of sovereign states is respected, then we are willing to
co-exist. We do not believe in double standards in the conduct of
international relations. We cannot accept commitment to pursue friendly
relations on the one plane, and on another indulge in acts of subversion
and terrorism to weaken our national resilience. Relations, if it is to be
durable, must be based on the mutually accepted norms of equality and
respect. There cannot be any compromise on this.

11. Southeast Asia with its abundant wealth and strategic location has
been a constant target of big-power rivalry. We have gone through many
trials and tribulations during the colonial era. We have experienced the
bitterness of military conquest during the Japanese occupation. In other
words, we have known confrontations, external threats and catastrophic
wars and seen our efforts at nation building hampered by outside
interference. For us to opt for super- power collusion would be submitting
ourselves to be pawns in their conflicts and rivalries. It is because of
the danger of this bleak prospect that ASEAN had advocated the concept of
ZOPFAN which will ensure the survival of the small nations of Southeast

12. The development of Singapore and of Malaysia is a task not only of the
leaders but the peoples of our two countries. Similarly the development of
good relationship between our two countries is also a task for the leaders
as well as of the people. I will try, for my part, to ensure good people
to people relations and I am sure this will be reciprocated.

13. Finally, may I ask you to join me in a toast to His Excellency the
President of Singapore, to His Excellency Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, to
the progress, prosperity and well-being of Singapore and its people and
last, but not least, to the continued friendship between Singapore and

Prime Minister's Office, 
Jalan Dato Onn Kuala Lumpur