• "Singapore needs to find a bigger location to invest and build its factories while Malaysia can take advantage of the technology transfer. So, there is potential for the two countries to cooperate in a very broad field.”

KUALA LUMPUR (June 12): The Malaysia-Singapore Special Economic Zone and the proposed Johor-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) that will be finalised by both countries can have a positive impact on the relationship between the two neighbours that are like brothers.

Economic analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun said Malaysia and Singapore are able to attract investments in the computer and chip industry in addition to having a mature workforce.

"Singapore needs to find a bigger location to invest and build its factories while Malaysia can take advantage of the technology transfer. So, there is potential for the two countries to cooperate in a very broad field.

"If Malaysia and Singapore could cooperate in advanced fields, such as artificial intelligence (AI), it would make both countries a centre of high technology development in Southeast Asia," he said as a guest on the Malaysia Petang Ini programme, broadcast live on Bernama TV Wednesday.

Oh said this when commenting on the strengthening of Malaysia-Singapore bilateral relations in conjunction with Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong's maiden visit after being appointed as premier of the republic on May 15.

According to Oh, detailed information about the special economic zone needs to be clarified such as whether there will be tax exemptions and so on to encourage investment.

He hoped that the details of the Malaysia-Singapore special economic zone would be one of the focuses at the 11th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat at the end of the year.

Oh said another issue between Malaysia and Singapore that needs to be resolved is the congestion at the Johor Causeway due to the high number of Malaysians working in Singapore and commuting daily.

“This problem may be resolved by extending the MRT from Singapore to Johor Bahru. But all this needs coordination," said Oh.

On global issues such as climate change, he said the problem affects Malaysia's agricultural sector and Singapore's position as an island city. Therefore, cooperation in dealing with climate change can benefit both parties.

As for issues at the Asean level, Oh said the cooperation between Malaysia, Singapore and possibly involving Indonesia in dealing with the crisis in Myanmar could increase the spirit of togetherness in the bloc.

Wong arrived in Malaysia for a two-day working visit on Tuesday at the invitation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

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