Singapore is pushing hard to keep its dispute with Malaysia “on an even keel”, political analysts say, after the city state proposed both sides extend temporary concessions in their row over air space and maritime boundaries. Singapore’s offer – made after a scheduled meeting on Wednesday between the two countries’ transport ministers – was for both sides to extend the concessions on the air space row. Announcing the proposal on Facebook , Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said his Malaysian counterpart Anthony Loke would “take my suggestion back to his cabinet colleagues”. The dispute regards Malaysia’s objections to a Singaporean plan to broadcast a new radar system over the state of Johor which borders the Lion City. Malaysia says this will inconvenience residents and restrict industrial development in Johor. Not quite handbags at dawn: Malaysia-Singapore air and sea tensions explained As a temporary measure, the two countries’ foreign ministers had agreed to stay their hand in the dispute. Malaysia, which reacted to the Singapore plan by declaring the affected area a restricted military training zone, lifted that restriction for a month, while the city state has suspended the implementation of the radar system for the same time period. Khaw’s proposal is for these temporary terms to continue “to give our officials more discussion time to reach a win-win solution”. He said he would meet Loke again after Lunar New Year. There was no immediate comment from Loke’s office. Singapore-based analysts said the Lion City’s gesture was a huge contrast from its angry reaction a week earlier. It had accused a state level Malaysian official of jeopardising an accord on the row it had struck with the federal government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad . “I see Singapore’s offer as an attempt to keep things on an even keel,” Eugene Tan, a political observer and law professor at the Singapore Management University, told This Week in Asia . “Given the pace of negotiation and the entrenched position of both parties, Singapore is mindful that such an extension can help keep tensions at bay and would be positively received by Malaysia,” he said. The ministers – who had exchanged fierce words after the row broke out in December – appeared to be engaged in “confidence building”, the law professor said. Other analysts predicted the move would bring an air of calm to talks after the sour episode involving the state level official – the Johor chief minister Osman Sapian. A day after the foreign ministers’ meeting in January, Osman boarded a Malaysian vessel in waters claimed by both countries – the second of the two disputes the neighbours are embroiled in. That action ran contrary to the entente reached by the foreign ministers. The Malaysian foreign ministry later distanced itself from Osman’s actions. Buying more time for talks “creates a climate of diplomatic positivity”, said Mustafa Izzuddin, a research fellow at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute who studies ties between the Lion City and its closest neighbour. Diplomatic rift with Malaysia unlikely to be over soon: Singapore foreign minister With the Lunar Year a major festival in both countries, it was “prudent to hold discussions after the festivities,” Mustafa said. The cross border row has dominated social media conversations in both countries. Observers have described the current state of affairs as the lowest point in the two countries’ relationship in two decades. The diplomatic chill has coincided with the return of Mahathir, widely viewed as a Singapore hawk, as prime minister. Ties between the neighbours have been testy at times in the decades since they acrimoniously split in 1965.