In a speech to Parliament on Monday, Vivian Balakrishnan reported "daily intrusions" by Malaysian government vessels which have been in the waters off western Singapore since November. He also raised a widely publicized visit by a Malaysian chief minister, who boarded one of the vessels last week.
The visit came a day after Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart met in Singapore. They announced a working group for tensions in the waters, which are less than 24 nautical miles, or around 44 kilometres, wide. The two countries, which were briefly merged in 1963, have agreed to peacefully resolve disputes over territorial waters and airspace.
(With inputs from agencies.)