SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Mdm Ho Ching will visit Johor on Friday (May 6) to receive awards.
Mr Lee will receive the First Class, Grand Commander of the Order, Dato’ Sri Paduka Mahkota Johor (SPMJ – Order of the Crown of Johor) from the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Mdm Ho will receive the First Class, Grand Commander of the Order, Dato’ Sri Mulia Sultan Ibrahim Johor (SMIJ – Order of Sultan Ibrahim of Johor).
The SPMJ is the highest honour in the state of Johor, while Mdm Ho will be the first Singaporean recipient of the SMIJ, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Mr Lee and Mdm Ho will be in Johor at the invitation of Sultan Ibrahim, and the award investiture ceremony will be held at the Istana Besar.
After the ceremony, the Sultan will host an official brunch in honour of Mr Lee and Mdm Ho. Members of the Johor royal family and the Royal Court, as well as the Johor state government representatives will also attend the proceedings.
Mr Lee and Mdm Ho will be accompanied on the trip by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Communications and Information.
The Order of the Crown of Johor consists of the Sovereign and three designated classes of memberships, of which the SPMJ is the first class.
“Ordinary Members of the Order are invited from among Malays professing the religion of Islam and subjects of the Ruler and who have exhibited loyalty, virtues, and talents and have rendered invaluable service to the Sultan and state,” said PMO according to a description provided by the president of the council of the royal court Johor.
“Malays from other states, and other races whether subjects of the Ruler or otherwise and who meet the criteria may be invited as honorary members.”
The order was instituted in July 1886. Members of the Order include former Prime Ministers of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, as well as former Singapore Law Minister E W Barker.
Former Prime Ministers of Malaysia Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin are also members of the order.
Since its inception in 1886, 237 people have been conferred the order.
The Most Exalted Order of Sultan Ibrahim of Johor was instituted on Mar 30, 2015, and comprises the Sovereign and three designated classes of membership, of which the SMIJ is the first class.
Previous members conferred with the order include the former Johor chief minister Mohamad Khaled Nordin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.