SINGAPORE: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) kicked off his official visit to Singapore today by attending a welcoming ceremony at the Istana.

This is Ismail Sabri’s first official visit to the republic in his capacity as prime minister.

At the ceremony, Ismail Sabri inspected a guard of honour and then signed the guest book.

The prime minister also had a new orchid hybrid named in his honour before paying a courtesy call to Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

Earlier in the morning, both leaders had jointly launched the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) at the Woodlands checkpoint for travel between Singapore and Malaysia.

Ismail Sabri is accompanied by Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Menteri Besar of Johor Datuk Hasni Mohammad and senior officials.

Ismail Sabri is scheduled to have a four-eye meeting with Lee for about 30 minutes.

A joint press conference will be held by the two leaders afterwards, which will be live-streamed via Lee’s Facebook page.

Wisma Putra on Sunday said the visit is conducted in full compliance with the strict health and safety protocols put in place by both governments.