Johor Ruler bestows highest state honour on S’pore PM Lee

JOHOR BARU: Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar bestowed the state’s highest Order of Chivalry on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a special investiture ceremony held at Istana Besar here Friday (May 6) morning.

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According to the Sultan of Johor’s official Facebook page, Lee, 70, received the the Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Johor (First Class), “Dato’ Sri Paduka Mahkota Johor” (SPMJ), which carries the title “Dato”.

His wife, Ho Ching, who recently retired as Temasek Holdings chief executive officer, was also honoured with the Most Exalted Order of Sultan Ibrahim Johor (First Class), “Dato’ Sri Mulia Sultan Ibrahim Johor” (SMIJ), which carries the title “Datin Paduka”.

The investiture, which was steeped in tradition and ceremony, was also graced by the Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim as well as other members of the Johor Royal Family.

ALSO READ: Singapore PM and wife to receive royal honours from Johor Sultan

Johor had previously also bestowed Orders of Chivalry on Singapore leaders as a testimony of the warm and close friendship it enjoys with its immediate neighbour.

They include the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who received the SPMJ award on April 9, 1984, in conjunction with the late Sultan Iskandar’s 52nd birthday.

Meanwhile, Sultan Ibrahim said the conferment of the state’s highest award on Lee was a testimony to the long-standing close and strong relations between the two neighbours.

“Johor and Singapore since time immemorial have enjoyed a special relationship. Today’s special investiture in honour of the Singapore Premier is a tangible manifestation of our close friendship and deepening ties.

“I wish to thank the Prime Minister for his continuing efforts to strengthen our close and strong relations,” His Majesty said.

Earlier, Lee and his delegation arrived at Istana Besar in his official car at 9.30 am while Sultan Ibrahim arrived five minutes later.

Also present at the ceremony was Menteri Besar Johor Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi. – Bernama