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President to make unexpected visit to Singapore: local media (update)

President to make unexpected visit to Singapore: local media (update)

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou is on his way to Singapore to pay his last respects to Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of the city state who died early Monday, according to local media reports. Ma and his small entourage will stay in Singapore for up to four hours on Tuesday before returning to Taiwan later in the day, according to online news outlet storm.mg and the mass-circulation newspaper Apple Daily. It will be Ma's first trip to Singapore since he became president seven years ago. He last visited the country in June 2007 while he was still a presidential candidate. Ma and an unknown number of foreign ministry officials departed for Singapore on a special China Airlines charter shortly before noon, the reports said. A report on the storm.mg website said that Ma is expected to meet with Lee Hsien Loong, son of Lee Kuan Yew and currently prime minister of Singapore, and the rest of the bereaved family in his personal capacity. There was no immediate official comment on Ma's unexpected trip, and a foreign ministry spokeswoman said she had no information for the press. Lee's funeral has been scheduled for March 29. Taiwan, which does not have diplomatic ties with the city state, is expected to send another delegation to the service, which will be attended by many foreign dignitaries. The storm.mg report said that former Vice President Vincent Siew will be head of that delegation.
(By Jay Chen and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-04-15 12:34 GMT+08:00