BAHRAIN RULER GIVEN STATE WELCOME
His visit is the first since Malaysia and Bahrain forged diplomatic ties in 1974
BAHRAIN Ruler King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who began his state visit to Malaysia on Sunday until tomorrow, was given a state welcome at the Parliament House here yesterday.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V welcomed King Hamad, who is on his maiden visit to Malaysia since he ascended the throne on May 6, 1999.
Present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and cabinet members.
The ceremony began with the national anthems of both countries played by the Royal Malay Regiment band at the Sungai Besi camp, followed by a 21-gun salute.
King Hamad received the guard-of-honour comprising four officers and 33 personnel of the First RAMD Battalion led by Major Azlan Shan Baharom.
He arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on Sunday night.
He was welcomed by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The king was later conferred the Maroon Beret and Honorary Airborne Wings of the 10th Paratrooper Brigade (10th Para) by the Malaysian armed forces.
The ceremony, which took place at Dataran Perwira Tentera Darat of the Sungai Besi Perdana Camp here, was also attended by Army chief General Datuk Seri Zulkiple Kassim.
Zulkiple said the Maroon Beret and Airborne Wings were the highest honour of the 10th Para Brigade and so far, 62 highest military and government leaders had been conferred with the honour.
The visit, at the invitation of Sultan Muhammad V, is the first to be made by a Ruler of Bahrain since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1974.
This is part of his series of visits to Southeast Asian nations.
He is scheduled to leave for Brunei after his visit to Malaysia.
King Hamad was feted at a state banquet yesterday.
He is scheduled to meet Najib at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, today and attend a dinner hosted by the prime minister.
King Hamad and Najib are scheduled to witness the signing of several memoranda of understanding, including agreements on air services and defence collaborations. Bernama
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V conversing with Bahrain Ruler King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa during the state banquet at Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. Present is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.