KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah granted an audience to Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at Istana Negara here today.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir was present at the audience, which started at about 2.20pm.
Also present were Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon, Singapore Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Albert Chua and Malaysian Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Amran Mohamed Zin.
Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Mej Jen Datuk Zahari Mohd Ariffin said the 30-minute audience was part of the official programme for Balakrishnan’s four-day visit to Malaysia which began yesterday.
“At the audience, both leaders touched on the matter of strengthening the longstanding special bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore,” Zahari said in a statement.
Last year, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah made a four-day state visit to Singapore beginning Oct 25.
During the visit, Their Majesties met Singapore President Halimah Yacob and granted an audience to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.
In 2022, Singapore was Malaysia’s second biggest trading partner and the biggest in ASEAN with total trade amounting to RM336.73 billion (US$76.40 billion), a 30.8 per cent increase over the 2021 value. — Bernama