By James Gough
Photo Source: Kinta Chronicles
A group of Singaporeans was in Ipoh recently researching on the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore over the last 60 years whether it has been a separation or has it been a bilateral partnership. 9 August 2025 will be the 60th anniversary when Malaysia and Singapore separated.
Spokesman Victor Ng said the group was called the Malaysia-Singapore Caucus For Friendship and it was a joint initiative among like-minded Singaporeans and Malaysians.
The Malaysian Caucus included Chan Kok Keong from the Perak Academy while Ipoh stalwarts were Tan Sri Chang Ko Youn, Dato Gan Tack Kong and Koh Chye Hock and more. The Singapore Caucus consisted of Gerry De Silva, Clement Mesenas, Georgie Lee and Colin Goh.
We were pleasantly surprised to catch up with cartoonist Dato Mohammad Nor or LAT. He showed exuberance and enthusiasm for this project.
Ng revealed that there will be a series of events being planned between Singapore and Malaysia. We have caucus members in Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, and Sabah and Sarawak. We want to acknowledge the past, focus on the present and celebrate the future going forward. In other words we want to deepen existing commonalities and continue to seek new common ground and similarities to strengthen bilateral ties and kinship.
The past 60 years has not been easy and had its challenges. We want to plant the seeds for a more enriching 60 years especially among the post 1965 generations of Singaporeans and Malaysians. We are separate yet together!
Meantime they are looking for individuals who can contribute their stories and write as well as capture as many aspects of the symbiotic relations between the two countries.
The approach to the outline of their findings are still being worked out. More importantly will be the dreams and inspirations for the next 60 years across all age groups and demographics.
Dato Wan Mohd Isa, the OBJ (Territorial Chief) of Larut, Matang and Selama attended the lunch the following day. Dato Wan is a keen historian and heritage enthusiasts said he would contribute stories if asked.
‘Taiping and Singapore have a lot of connections. The first President of Singapore Yusof Ishak was a Taiping boy. Hopefully the Taiping Heritage Society will be involved’.
Looks like the Malaysia-Singapore Caucus of Friendship will have a busy 2024.