01/16/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/16/2020 01:44
Former Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato' Seri Panglima Haji Zulkifli bin Haji Zainal Abidin was conferred Singapore's highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], by President Halimah Yacob at the Istana this afternoon.
GEN Tan Sri Zulkifli was conferred the award for his significant contributions towards strengthening defence cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia while he was Chief of the MAF from 20 Jun 2018 to 2 Jan 2020. Under his leadership, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the MAF continued to enhance long-standing defence ties through professional exchanges, cross-attendance of courses, and various flagship bilateral exercises such as Exercise Malapura, Exercise Semangat Bersatu and Exercise SAREX MALSING. These interactions have helped to forge closer rapport and trust between both armed forces. GEN Tan Sri Zulkifli's strong commitment to regional defence cooperation has also seen the SAF and MAF work closely together on platforms such as the Malacca Straits Patrol, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)/ADMM-Plus to enhance regional security and stability.
Guests at the investiture included Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Senior Ministers of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Melvyn Ong, as well as other senior government officials and military officers from Singapore and Malaysia. Prior to the investiture, GEN Tan Sri Zulkifli also reviewed a Guard of Honour at the Istana.
GEN Tan Sri Zulkifli, who is in Singapore from 15 to 16 January 2020, called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana after the investiture. GEN Tan Sri Zulkifli also called on Dr Ng and LG Ong earlier today at the Ministry of Defence before the investiture. During the calls, both sides reaffirmed the long-standing bilateral defence ties and expressed commitment to further deepen bilateral defence cooperation.