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President to make unexpected visit to Singapore: local media

President to make unexpected visit to Singapore: local media

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Local media reported that President Ma Ying-jeou will visit Singapore later Tuesday presumably to pay his last respects to Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of the city state who died early Monday. It will be Ma's first trip to Singapore since he became president seven years ago. He last visited the country in June 2007 as a candidate in the 2008 presidential election. Ma and an unknown number of foreign ministry officials will depart before noon on board a China Airlines special charter for the 4.5-hour flight, according to Apple Daily, a mass-circulating tabloid-style newspaper.
The report cannot be immediately confirmed. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said she has no information to give to the press.
It is not immediately known how long Ma will stay in Singapore. Lee's funeral has been scheduled for March 29, but Ma is unlikely to attend because of the lack of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the city state. (By Jay Chen)