PM to make official visit to Singapore in conjunction with VTL launch

PM to make official visit to Singapore in conjunction with VTL launch

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will undertake his first official visit to Singapore today at the invitation of his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

Wisma Putra said the visit was also in conjunction with the commencement of the air and land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore.

It said Ismail Sabri was scheduled to call on Singapore President Halimah Yacob and hold a meeting with Lee.

“The leaders will discuss Malaysia-Singapore bilateral cooperation, including new opportunities for effective recovery from the impacts of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Both prime ministers will also be exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern,” it said in a statement here today.

Wisma Putra said the visit would be conducted in full compliance with the strict health and safety protocols put in place by the governments of Singapore and Malaysia.

It said Ismail Sabri would be accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and officials from the relevant ministries and agencies.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Dr Azfar Mohamad Mustafar, said the VTL was a mechanism agreed by both countries to enable people to return to their respective countries without undergoing quarantine.

“It will benefit Malaysians working in Singapore who have not been able to return to Malaysia due to quarantine constraints and costs that have to be borne,” he said in a press conference held yesterday, in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s visit.

Ismail Sabri is expected to arrive at the Woodlands checkpoint and be greeted by Lee, before the two officiate the VTL-Land.

The official visit will begin with an official welcoming ceremony at the Istana where the Prime Minister will inspect the guard of honour and subsequently sign the guest book.

A ceremony to name an orchid after the Prime Minister will be held, after which he will pay a courtesy call to Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

Following that, Ismail Sabri will have a meeting with Lee for about 30 minutes.

“The two prime ministers will exchange views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest,” said Dr Azfar.

A joint press conference will be held by the two leaders afterwards. — Bernama