CLARK FIELD, Philippines – (UPDATED) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived in this former US base in the Philippines past noon Sunday, the fifth ASEAN leader to fly in this weekend to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summit.
His plane landed amid festive welcome cheer spread by hundreds of Filipino schoolchildren performing cultural numbers.
Malaysia is one of ASEAN’s five founding members, along with Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. PM Razak is the sixth prime minister of Malaysia.
PM Najib’s plane landed at the Clark International Airport, where four other ASEAN leaders earlier touched down, two on Saturday afternoon: Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar State Counsellor and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
On Sunday morning, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thoungloun Sisoulith and Indonesian President Joko Widodo also flew in via Clark, to be ferried later to the main ASEAN-related events in Metro Manila.
Meeting PM Razak at Clark were Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda. Officials of the Malaysian Embassy in Manila were also present.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Hoong, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull — are expected to arrive after Razak on Sunday afternoon at Clark, Pampanga.
The heads of state and government of the ASEAN members and the regional bloc’s dialogue partners including US President Donald Trump will be feted at a gala dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday night, to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.- with a report by Camille Aguinaldo, InterAksyon