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President Tharman welcomes Malaysian King and Queen for May 6-7 visit

SINGAPORE: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and his wife, Mrs Jane Ittogi Shanmugaratnam, welcomed the King and Queen of Malaysia on the morning of May 6 (Monday). It is the first overseas state visit of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, who ascended to Malaysia’s throne on Jan 31 this year.

He will be in Singapore until May 7 and is accompanied by his wife, Raja Zarith Sofia Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, as well as Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke, and the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore Datuk Dr Azfar Mohamad Mustafar, among other senior officials.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on May 5 that President Tharman and his wife will be hosting a State Banquet in honour of the Malaysian King and Queen. This is scheduled for Monday evening.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will meet with the King on May 6. On Tuesday morning, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, who will be sworn in as Prime Minister of Singapore next week, will also call on the King.

The King of Malaysia is also set to be hosted by Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng for a tour of the Parliament Chambers and will observe Parliamentary proceedings.

The MFA added that the King will also visit the Thomson—East Coast line, where he will be hosted by Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat.

The Queen, meanwhile, is set to visit a women’s and children’s hospital.

Before returning to Malaysia, the King and Queen will inspect the progress of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link), the shuttle service between Singapore at Woodlands North station and Malaysia at Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru.

On November 22, 2022, Sultan Ibrahim officiated the groundbreaking ceremonies for the RTS Link.

The Malaysian royals have come at President Tharman’s invitation. Sultan Ibrahim last visited Singapore in 2022, when he was still Sultan of Johor.

They left Istana Besar at Johor at 9:45 on Monday morning in a convoy and were accompanied by Mr Loke and Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The convoy entered Singapore via the Johor Causeway.

At 10:45 am, they were welcomed to The Istana by President Tharman and his wife.

The 65-year-old King took Malaysia’s throne after being “elected” by a council of state sovereigns in October as part of the rotating system of monarchs unique to Malaysia.

He replaced Al-Sultan Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, the Sultan of Pahang, who ascended the throne in January 2019.


Read also: Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail: Johor and Singapore enjoy a long and enduring friendship