An opportunity for further collaborations and exchanges between Singapore and Malaysia
Speech by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister For Culture, Community And Youth, & Second Minister For Law, At The Malaysia-Singapore Triennial Cultural Showcase on 6 Oct 2023
09 October 2023
A very good evening to all of you, I am very delighted to be here sharing this occasion with you, the occasion of the second Malaysia-Singapore Triennial Cultural Showcase.
The cultural ties between both our countries have strengthened tremendously over the years, with numerous cross-cultural exchanges across our creative, arts and heritage communities.
The Triennial Cultural Showcase is a very special event amongst this packed calendar of cultural exchanges. The showcase was first announced during the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in 2016, and reiterated during the 8th and 9th Leaders’ Retreat in 2018 and 2019. This underscores how seriously it was taken and how important it was. The idea for this showcase is that every three years, people from both countries come together – from cultural sector government officials, to artists and creatives, to the general public – to celebrate the close relationships between both our countries in fields of artistic and creative talents.
In 2019, Singapore organised the inaugural edition of the Triennial Cultural Showcase in Kuala Lumpur, titled URBN.SENI. That would not have been possible without the strong support and collaboration with the Malaysian government, especially our colleagues at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC). I want to say a big thank you to MOTAC.
COVID pushed the second edition of the Triennial Cultural Showcase back by one year. It was supposed to have been in 2022, but we decided to push it back. The pandemic however did not dilute the spirit of cultural exchange between both our countries. Throughout the pandemic and indeed beyond, the cultural collaborations and exchanges between Singapore and Malaysia continued to flourish. For example, many of you would know that Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand jointly submitted the multinational nomination to inscribe the kebaya on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage earlier this year. The idea for the multinational nomination was proposed and coordinated by Malaysia. We are very glad to have worked together with Malaysia on this.
Looking ahead, there will be many opportunities for further collaborations and exchanges between both countries. Next year, we will be celebrating the centennial of the causeway between Singapore and Malaysia. It has been the site of many historically significant events, and is a physical symbol of the link between our two countries. The following year, in 2025, we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Malaysia.
We also look forward to the upcoming 10th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders Retreat which will be hosted in Singapore later this month, where the Prime Ministers of both countries will be meeting to discuss issues of mutual interest and opportunities for cooperation.
As we gather here tonight, I would like to congratulate the Honourable Khairul, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and your staff and team members from MOTAC for putting together such a wonderful line-up of programmes and activities here in Singapore. I look forward to the exciting performance you have prepared for us, and I want to thank you very much for bringing the cultural showcase to the wider Singapore public, through the pocket shows at various iconic outdoor locations and a traditional crafts exposition at Marina Square. I am sure many Singaporeans will enjoy the programmes that you have planned for the weekend, and that they will come away with a far deeper and richer appreciation of Malaysia’s culture and heritage.
I wish MOTAC all the very best with the Triennial Cultural Showcase this weekend. Thank you very much, for having it here and having us here, and I look forward to the rest of the evening.