SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan Keng Yam will be making a back-to-back state visit to Cambodia and Laos from Jan 8 to 14, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Saturday (Jan 7).
In a press statement, MFA said Dr Tan will visit Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia from Jan 8 to Jan 11 at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni. He will then head on to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos at the invitation of President Bounnhang Vorachith before returning to Singapore on Jan 14.
In Cambodia’s capital, Dr Tan will be hosted to a royal banquet by King Sihamoni. He will also be meeting Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath and Prime Minister Hun Sen. Two memoranda of understanding will also be signed on vocational training and healthcare, said MFA.
Dr Tan is also expected to meet the overseas Singaporean community and visit Calmette Hospital. The hospital is being assisted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Temasek Foundation International to improve the skills of Cambodian doctors and nurses in trauma and resuscitation.
In Siem Reap, the president will visit Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple. The Province Governor Khim Bun Song will also host Dr Tan to dinner.
Once in Laos, Dr Tan will be hosted to a state banquet by President Bounnhang. He is also expected to meet Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Dr Tan will also make a trip to the Lao University of Health Sciences (UHS), where the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) are assisting Laos to upgrade its Physiotherapy Education Programme.
A Lao translation of a book by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, titled From Third World to First – The Singapore Story: 1965 – 2000, will also be launched during the state visit, said MFA.
In Vientiane, the president is also expected to visit the That Luang national stupa and attend a reception for the overseas Singaporean community.
In Luang Prabang, Dr Tan will meet the city’s governor Khamkhan Chanthavisouk and visit the Royal Palace Museum.
Dr Tan will be accompanied by his wife Mary Tan and other officials including Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong.
During Dr Tan’s absence, Mr J Y Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, will exercise the functions of the office of the President, added MFA.