By Linda Khoo
BANGKOK, June 20 (Bernama) – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad arrived here today for a packed four-day working visit to Thailand, during which he will join nine other heads of government for the 34th Asean Summit.
The special aircraft carrying Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali landed at the Military Air Terminal 2 of Royal Thai Air Force base here at 7.30 pm (local time).
On hand to welcome Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah were Thai Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda and wife Kulaya Paojinda, as well as Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.
Dr Mahathir is leading the Malaysian delegation to the 34th Asean Summit and Related Summits.
The prime minister is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darrel Leiking and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali as well as officials from the Prime Minister's Office, Wisma Putra, Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA).
In his third visit to the kingdom, Dr Mahathir would officiate the inaugural Malaysia Fest 2019 at the Central World Shopping Mall and later in the afternoon he would hold the Malaysia-Thailand Business Dialogue, a roundtable business meeting with Thailand’s captains of industry tomorrow.
On Saturday, the prime minister will participate in three interfaces namely the Asean leaders’ interface with representatives of Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Asean Leaders’ Interface with representatives of Asean Youth, and Asean Leaders’ Interface with representatives of Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean-BAC).
After the interfaces, the prime minister will join the Asean Summit Plenary where leaders of the Asean member countries will hold discussion on issues relating to the summit theme, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” and followed by the gala dinner hosted by Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha for the Asean Leaders and Asean Secretary General.
On Sunday, Dr Mahathir will attend the opening ceremony of the 34th Asean Summit.
Later, he will attend the 13th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit followed by the 12th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit.
Meanwhile, Dr Siti Hasmah is expected to participate in the Spouse Programme, hosted by Thai prime minister’s wife, Associate Professor Naraporn Chan o-cha, including a tour of the National Museum of Royal Barges, demonstration of Thai handicraft and traditional Thai appetisers and desserts and a lunch hosted by Naraporn.
Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah are expected to depart for Malaysia on Sunday evening.