Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob Facebook/Halimah Yacob

Singapore President Halimah Yacob will attend the cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok from Oct 26 to 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday. This will be the first official overseas visit of President Halimah as the head of state.

According to the statement, President Halimah will be accompanied by her husband, Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee. Several officials from the President's Office and MFA will also accompany her at the ceremony.

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King Bhumibol died in October 2016 at the age of 88 following a long illness. He reigned for seven decades after ascending the throne in 1946 that made him a rare unifying figure in an otherwise deeply polarized nation. King Bhumibol was regarded as a pillar of stability during decades of political upheaval and rapid development.

The late king's body has laid in state in a gold hall at the Grand Palace in Bangkok and the royal cremation will take place on Oct 26 at Sanam Luang. Over 250,000 people are expected to attend the cremation ceremony of King Bhumibol.

Bhumibol's son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in last December but his formal coronation has been put on hold until after his father's funeral.

Meanwhile in Singapore, J Y Pillay, chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, will exercise the functions of the office of the President during President Halimah's absence.