Singapore Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob and MPs at Asean parliamentary meet in Laos

SINGAPORE - The Speaker of the Singapore Parliament, Madam Halimah Yacob, is leading a delegation of 14 Members of Parliament to the 35th meeting of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa) in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

The week-long meeting, which began on Sunday, coincides with Madam Halimah's official visit to Laos, a statement from the Office of the Clerk of Parliament said on Monday.

Aipa is a regional inter-parliamentary forum where MPs from Asean countries can exchange views and information, and deal with social, economic, political and cultural issues that are of importance to and which affect the region.

The theme for this year's Aipa general assembly is strengthening parliamentary cooperation in the Asean community building process. Parliamentarians will also have discussions with their counterparts from Aipa observer parliaments. These include representatives from Australia, Belarus, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Timor-Leste.

The Singapore MPs accompanying Madam Halimah to the meeting are Deputy Speaker Charles Chong; Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin; Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Zainudin Nordin; Tampines GRC MPs Irene Ng and Baey Yam Keng; Sembawang GRC MPs Ellen Lee and Vikram Nair; Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MPs Janil Puthucheary and Zainal Sapari; Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim; Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Chia Shi-Lu; Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng; Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling; and Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam.

Besides attending Aipa's plenary sessions and meetings, the Singapore delegation will make courtesy calls on political leaders in Laos, including Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong; and National Assembly President Pany Yathotou, who is Madam Halimah's counterpart.

This is Madam Halimah's first official visit to Laos as Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore.