Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Singapore this week

Myanmar's state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Singapore on Wednesday (Nov 30) for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Myanmar's state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Singapore on Wednesday (Nov 30) for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Myanmar's state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Singapore on Wednesday (Nov 30) for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Her visit takes place during the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Myanmar, and reciprocates Mr Lee's trip to Myanmar in June.

The high-level trip comes amid growing cooperation between the two countries, and coincides with the mutual lifting of visa requirements for their citizens. The waiver takes effect on Thursday (Dec 1).

While here, Ms Suu Kyi will call on Acting President J Y Pillay and Mr Lee. She will be given an official welcome at the Istana, where she will be hosted to an official dinner by Mr Lee.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will also host her to meals.

This is Ms Suu Kyi's first visit to Singapore since assuming the post of state counsellor in April this year (2016), in the new civilian government that came to power last November (2015).

She was last here in September 2013 while she was leader of Myanmar's opposition and head of the committee on rule of law, peace and tranquility of Myanmar's Lower House of Parliament.

During the visit, Ms Suu Kyi will attend IE Singapore's Global Conversations dialogue with Singapore businesses. In addition, she will visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens where an orchid will be named after her, a traditional honour for visiting foreign leaders.

Ms Suu Kyi, who has pledged to tackle corruption at home, will also receive a briefing by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau while here.

On Thursday (Dec 1) evening, she and Mr Lee will be the guests-of-honour at the opening ceremony of the Asian Civilisations Museum's new exhibition of Myanmar artefacts. Titled "Cities and Kings: Ancient Treasures from Myanmar", it will run for three months.

She will end her trip on Friday (Dec 2) with a visit to a hawker centre, where she will be hosted to breakfast by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

Officials have been tightening regulations on street hawkers in Myanmar's largest city and former capital Yangon, and Yangon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein and Myanmar officials visited Singapore in July (2016) to study how Singapore builds and operates its hawker centres.

Ms Suu Kyi will be accompanied by Union Minister for Commerce Than Myint, Kyaw Tin and officials from Myanmar's Ministry of National Planning, President's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.