The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim, bestowed the State’s highest Order of Chivalry on the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong. The special investiture ceremony convened at Istana Besar in Johor Bahru today (6th May).
Mr Lee, 70, received the title, The Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Johor (First Class) “Dato’ Sri Paduka Mahkota Johor” (S.P.M.J), which carries the title “Dato Sri’”.
His wife, Madam Ho Ching was also similarly honoured. She was bestowed The Most Exalted Order of Sultan Ibrahim Johor (First Class) “Dato’ Sri Mulia Sultan Ibrahim Johor” (S.M.I.J.). This honour carries the title “Datin Paduka”. Ho Ching is the former CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore, Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The Queen Consort of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah and the Crown Prince of Johor graced the event. In addition, other members of the Royal Family attended as well.
Johor previously has previously bestowed Orders of Chivalry on Singapore leaders
The late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew received the SPMJ award on 9th April 1984. This honour was in conjunction with the late Sultan Iskandar’s 52nd birthday.
Sultan Ibrahim said the presentation of the State’s highest award to Singapore’s PM Lee was a testimony of the long-standing close and strong relations between the two neighbours.
The Sultan told the Royal Press Office (RPO), “Johor and Singapore enjoy a special relationship. Since time immemorial. Today’s special investiture in honour of the Singapore Premier is a tangible manifestation of our close friendship and deepening ties.
“I wish to thank the Prime Minister for his continuing efforts to strengthen our close and strong relations,” the Sultan added.
Singapore has many investments in Johor as well as other parts of Malaysia.
On the flipside, Sultan Ibrahim maintains a wealth of property in Singapore. The most notable would be Istana Woodneuk in the Holland Road area. The current Crown Prince of Johor has previously stated an interest in developing that property into luxury condominiums. However, the area is a conservation area and thus may not be suitable for such development. In conclusion, we guess only time will tell if such neighbourly gestures will go a long way.