KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore President Halimah Yacob was accorded a state welcome at Istana Negara here Tuesday (March 21) in conjunction with her maiden three-day visit to Malaysia, which began on Monday (March 20).
On arrival at 11 am, Halimah and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee greeted Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Cabinet ministers.
The welcoming ceremony at the parade ground began with the singing of the Singapore and Malaysia national anthems by the Royal Malaysian Air Force central band, followed by a 21-gun salute.
Halimah then inspected a guard of honour mounted by four officers and 103 rank-and-file personnel of the First Battalion Royal Ranger Regiment from Wardieburn Camp in Setapak here, under the command of Mejar Mohd Fadjrin Masor@Mansor.
Halimah and Al-Sultan Abdullah then planted a Pokok Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi) tree in the palace compound, witnessed by Mohamed Abdullah, Tunku Azizah, Anwar and Dr Wan Azizah.
The Singapore President then attended a state luncheon together with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong.
She is making her visit at the invitation of Al-Sultan Abdullah, who had visited Singapore in October 2022.
According to a Wisma Putra statement, the visit will further strengthen ties and cooperation in various areas between the two countries.
Singapore was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner and the largest among ASEAN members in 2022 with trade totalling RM367.53 billion (US$83.53 billion), a 29.4 per cent increase over the figure for 2021. - Bernama