New Zealand Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro was accorded a state welcome at Istana Negara here today, in conjunction with her maiden four-day visit to Malaysia which began yesterday.

On arrival at 11 am, Kiro and her husband Dr Richard Davies, were greeted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Cabinet ministers.

The welcoming ceremony at the parade ground began with the Royal Malaysian Air Force central band singing the New Zealand and Malaysian national anthems led by Captain Sabri Hamil, which was followed by a 21-gun salute.

The Governor-General of New Zealand then inspected a guard of honor mounted by four officers and 103 rank-and-file personnel of the First Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment, Kuala Lumpur led by Major Mohd Waqiyudin Abd Rahman.

Kiro and Al-Sultan Abdullah then planted a Pokok Nona (Annona Squamosa) in the palace courtyard, witnessed by Tunku Azizah, Dr Richard Davies, Anwar and Dr Wan Azizah.

The two leaders then held a meeting at Dewan Seri Maharaja and later attended an orchid-naming ceremony during which a hybrid orchid was named Dendrobium Cynthia Kiro in honour of the New Zealand leader.

A state banquet was also hosted by Their Majesties in honour of the New Zealand Governor-General.

This is Kiro’s maiden visit to Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region since assuming office on Oct 21, 2021.

The last state visit by a governor-general of New Zealand was by Dame Patsy Reddy, from Dec 5 to 8, 2017.

New Zealand is Malaysia’s second largest trading partner in the Pacific region, with total trade between the two nations reaching RM6.32 billion (US$1.42 billion) as of June this year, an increase of 15.3 per cent from RM5.48 billion (US$1.27 billion) recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency