SINGAPORE - Chief of Defence Force of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato' Sri (Dr) Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin was conferred Singapore's highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana this afternoon.
A MINDEF statement released today also said that guests at the investiture included Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng, as well as senior government officials and military officers from Malaysia and Singapore.
General Zulkifeli received the award for his significant contributions in strengthening the relationship between the MAF and the Singapore Armed Forces as MAF Chief of Defence Force since June 2011.
Under his leadership, interactions between both armed forces have expanded in both scope and depth. The two armed forces interact regularly through bilateral activities such as Exercise Semangat Bersatu and Exercise Malapura, which celebrated their 20th and 30th anniversary respectively this year.
Both armed forces also work closely together at the multilateral level under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, the Malacca Strait Patrols and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus framework. These interactions and cooperation have fostered mutual understanding and camaraderie among the officers and men of both armed forces, as well as contributed to regional peace and stability.
General Zulkifeli, who is in Singapore from Aug 12 to 13, also called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday, and Dr Ng and LG Ng at the Ministry of Defence before the investiture. During the calls, both sides reaffirmed the strong bilateral defence ties and expressed commitment to deepen the bilateral defence relationship through more interactions at all levels.