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Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 10:37 GMT
KL, Singapore tackle disputes
Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to tackle a series of disputes that have long soured neighbourly relations.

The issues include the price of water Malaysia supplies to Singapore and the use by Singapore's air force of Malaysian military airspace.

Bilateral relations have been improving since Abdullah Badawi took over the Malaysian leadership from Mahathir Mohamad a year ago.

Mr Badawi is considered far less confrontational than his predecessor.

"It was a candid discussion and we were able to enjoy that because of our personal relationship and our desire for better relations between both sides," Singapore's Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong told a press conference after his talks with Mr Abdullah.

He said that the Malaysian leader had agreed to consider allowing Singapore's air force into Malaysian airspace. Mr Goh said that if this went ahead, he would in turn allow Malaysians who have worked in Singapore to have access to their pension funds, which are at present locked inside the city state.

Regarding another dispute - a proposed new bridge to link the two countries - Mr Goh said he would study a design given to him by Mr Badawi.

But Monday's proposal did not touch on the biggest sticking point - the price of water Malaysia supplies to Singapore.

The two leaders, however, were upbeat about future ties.

"[The issues] are not very difficult," Mr Abdullah told the news conference.

"We believe they can be resolved as quickly as possible. We are aware that we do not have a definite agreement in terms of details but the agreement we have together is that we have to more forward," he said.

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