SINGAPORE: The parliaments of Singapore and India are set to enhance ties with the set—up of the India—Singapore Parliamentary Friendship Group.
The Speakers of Parliament from both sides, Michael Palmer and Meira Kumar, launched the initiative on Thursday on the sidelines of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to India.
The Singapore chairman of the group is Member of Parliament Associate Professor Muhd Faishal Ibrahim.
The group is made up 20 MPs from Singapore and 22 from India. The Singapore side includes opposition, non—constituency and nominated MPs.
The formation of the group was first announced in November 2011 during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Singapore.
Singapore’s Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer said it is especially important to enhance ties, as India is a strategic partner for Singapore and ASEAN.
He said: "While you have good government—to—government relations and good understanding on the government—to—government level, sometimes things get stuck when it comes down to the parliament level and this is where relations between parliamentarians can help to bridge that gap and this is what we want to try and do.
"We will see what we can do, perhaps a visit from the Indian Parliamentary Friendship group would probably be the next step, for them to come down and understand our workings —— our systems, our laws, which are not too far from theirs and we have to understand their system as well."
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