30TH MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE ANNUAL EXCHANGE OF VISITS, 29 SEPTEMBER 2017, SINGAPORE

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1     Dato Sri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, visited Singapore from 28 to 30 September 2017 at the invitation of Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore, for the Annual Exchange of Visits (AEV) between the Environment Ministries of Malaysia and Singapore. Since 1979, the AEV has established closer ties and co-operation between the two ministries in environment-related matters.  

2     Mr Masagos Zulkifli led the Singapore delegation, comprising Permanent Secretary Mr Choi Shing Kwok and senior officials from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Environment Agency and other government agencies.  

3     The Malaysia delegation was led by Dato Sri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, which comprised Secretary General Dato’ Sri Azizan bin Ahmad and senior officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Environment and other government agencies.

4     The two Ministers reviewed the progress achieved by the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE). On 28 September 2017, the 31st MSJCE Meeting successfully deliberated and exchanged views on the following areas of cooperation:  

a) Control of Vehicular Emissions

The two Ministers noted the close bilateral cooperation to reduce harmful vehicular emissions so as to achieve better air quality in both countries, and encouraged both sides to continue to update each other on policies, share best practices and identify areas of cooperation.

b) Joint Monitoring of Water Quality in the Straits of Johor

The two Ministers agreed on the importance of good water quality in the Straits of Johor, and encouraged both sides to continue efforts to improve water quality by implementing measures to control sources of pollution.

c) Progress Report on the Monitoring of Ecology and Morphology in and around the Straits of Johor

Both countries agreed to continue exchanging information on the monitoring of ecology and morphology in and around the Straits of Johor, for the purpose of conserving the marine biodiversity of both countries.

d) Emergency Response Plan for Chemical Spill at Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing

The two Ministers reaffirmed the usefulness of conducting regular joint exercises to ensure emergency response agencies would be able to effectively respond to incidents involving spillage of hazardous chemicals. It was also noted that Malaysia would be hosting the next joint field exercise of the emergency response plan for chemical spill at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing this year.

e) Emergency Response Plan for Chemical Spill in the East Johor Strait

The two Ministers noted the increase in ship traffic in the Straits of Johor, and highlighted the importance of regular joint exercises to maintain the teamwork between both sides to facilitate and coordinate prompt response actions in the event of an accident.  It was also noted that Singapore would be hosting the next joint field exercise of the emergency response plan for chemical spill in the East Johor Strait in 2018.

f) Collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore in the Area of Oil Spill Prevention and Control in the Straits of Johor  

The two Ministers commended the good collaboration between both sides in information sharing and capacity building to prevent and control oil pollution in the Straits of Johor, and encouraged both sides to continue their work in protecting the shared marine environment from oil pollution.

g) Collaboration in Training between Environment Institute of Malaysia (EiMAS) and Singapore Environment Institute (SEI)

The two Ministers noted the continued cooperation between the two institutes in exchanging training opportunities and resources, which have helped the environment officers from Singapore and Malaysia to further develop their professional knowledge and skills.

h) Exchange of Information under the Settlement Agreement

Both countries discussed and exchanged information pursuant to the Settlement Agreement 2005 on matters affecting the environment in and around the Straits of Johor.

i) Other Matters

Both countries exchanged views on other matters pertaining to the transboundary movement of wastes and e-wastes, as well as land reclamation works in and around the Straits of Johor.

5     The Ministers discussed land reclamation works in the Straits of Johor and their potential adverse transboundary impact.  The Ministers agreed that it is important for Singapore and Malaysia to continue to fulfil their obligations under international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  They also reaffirmed their commitment under the Settlement Agreement to monitor, exchange information on and discuss matters affecting their respective environments in the Straits of Johor, including reclamation works with potential adverse transboundary impact.  In this regard, the Ministers urged the Danga Bay Joint Task Force to work closely and resolve the issues pertaining to the findings of the bathymetry surveys at Danga Bay expeditiously.

6     The Ministers acknowledged the progress made by ASEAN Member States in addressing the perennial problem of transboundary pollution, and reaffirmed their commitment to work together and with other countries on such issues going forward.

7     The 30th AEV will conclude with the Annual Friendly Games on 30 September 2017 that will bring together officials from both countries to build camaraderie and forge closer friendships through sports.

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