Published: Thu, October 13, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

New chapter for Singapore, Australia: PM

New chapter for Singapore, Australia: PM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been officially welcomed to Canberra on Wednesday ahead of becoming the first Singaporean leader to address the Australian parliament.

Mr Lee will also be the first Singapore Prime Minister to address the Australian Parliament.

"Singapore and Australia are at one in defending the rule of law and rejecting the proposition that might is right", he said.

Mr Lee and Mr Turnbull on Thursday will sign a $2 billion deal under which 14,000 Singaporean troops will train for 18 weeks a year in central and northern Queensland and Singapore will be given special permission to develop military training facilities.

At the same time co-operation with China - the major trading partner of both Australia and Singapore - should be strengthened.

"The amendments make it easier for Australian business visitors, including service suppliers and investors, to work in Singapore; providing greater opportunities for services exporters; and creating greater certainty and reducing red tape for exporters of goods, services and investment".

He spoke fondly of the informal and candid relationship between the two peoples, saying neither "beat around the bush" and both could "hang loose".

While ensuring he chose good Australian wine, Mr Lee admitted he forgot to check where the steak came from.

In this latest trip, Mr Lee's will attend an official welcome ceremony at Parliament House and have separate meetings with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, Mr Turnbull, leader of the ppposition Bill Shorten, and Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Andrew Barr.

When Mr Abbott asked, the chef replied it was from the United States.

Australia and Singapore relied on a "stable and orderly world" to prosper.

These include a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Military Training and Training Area Development in Australia, the Agreement to Amend the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the MOU on Cooperation in Innovation and Science, and the MOU on Combating Transnational Drug Crime and Developing Cooperation.

"We feel quite at home in each other's countries", he said.

Students from an Australian worldwide school in Singapore have given the visiting prime minister some advice on what to do while Down Under.

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