S'poreans in Thailand meet DPM Teo

DPM Teo greeting Singaporeans living in Thailand at the Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok yesterday. Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, hopes to discuss security concerns with Thai officials during his two-day trip to the
DPM Teo greeting Singaporeans living in Thailand at the Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok yesterday. Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, hopes to discuss security concerns with Thai officials during his two-day trip to the kingdom.ST PHOTO: TAN HUI YEE

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean met Singaporeans living in Thailand at the start of his two-day trip to the kingdom yesterday.

About 300 Singaporeans attended the dinner reception at the Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok, which Mr Teo last visited in 2013.

Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, said he was back in Bangkok to meet many "old friends", and hoped to discuss security concerns with local officials.

In a short speech last night, he briefed the crowd on the terrorism concerns facing the Republic, as well as the challenge of keeping the Singapore economy and Singaporeans ahead against the backdrop of a widening skills and income divide in the world.

Mr Teo is accompanied by Mr Vikram Nair, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs, as well as officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Defence Ministry and National Security Coordination Secretariat.

Today, he will meet Thailand's Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda.  He will also have an audience with, and be hosted to dinner by, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Thailand and Singapore enjoy close relations and their bilateral trade reaches about US$30 billion (S$41 billion) every year. More than 20,000 Singaporeans live in Thailand.

Tan Hui Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2016, with the headline 'S'poreans in Thailand meet DPM Teo'. Print Edition | Subscribe