Suharto arrives in Labuan for talks with Hussein
Published on: Thursday, May 18, 1978

DAILY EXPRESS (Thursday, May 18, 1978) - LABUAN, Wed. — President Suharto of Indonesia arrived here today to a tumultuous welcome by the island population. 

Datuk Hussein Onn, who arrived half an hour earlier at 4 p.m. local time, was on hand to welcome the Indonesian leader who arrived in his presidential jet from North Sulawesi. Earlier, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh went on board the aircraft to invite the President and his delegation which included his Minister of State Soedharmono and other top Indonesian government leaders. 

President Suharto being introduced to local dignitaries by Datuk Seri Hussein Onn

As soon as the President alighted from the aircraft, he was garlanded by a Kadazan beauty Veronica Jeffrin. 

He was then introduced to a long line of Malaysian leaders including Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Yakub, Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, Home Affairs Ministers, Tan Sri Ghazali Shafle and Sabah state ministers including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk James Ongkili. 

As the President and Datuk Hussein walked along the red carpet, five men dressed in colourful native costumes and bearing the traditional bunga telor led the way with about twenty girls showering petals before their path. A kompang and a hydrah bands and the angklung group, sinar budaya, of the State Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry were in attendance. 

Representatives of the local Indonesian community were also on hand to greet President Suharto. The colourful airport ceremony lasted half an hour after which the two Asean leaders were driven in a motorcade to Sri Labuan, the state government residence, about a mile away. About 2,000 school children lined the route waving the national flag: of both countries. 

The Indonesian delegation included Vice Air Marshal Suguri, the President's Secretary on Military Affairs, Major General Benny Murdani, the Deputy Chief of the State Intelligence Coordinating Body, and Encik Soedarsono, the Director of Asia-Pacific Affairs in the Foreign Affairs Department. 

Datuk Hussein was accorded a similar red carpet welcome on arrival earlier. He was met by Datuk Harris and garlanded by a Kadazan beauty, Cik Majorie Kinjau. Apart from Tan Sri Ghazali and Tengku Rithauddeen, the Malaysian delegation included the Chief of Armed Forces Staff, Gen. Tan Sri Sany Ghaffar, and the Special Branch Director, Datuk Amin Osman. 


Tonight, President Suharto and Datuk Hussein will begin their first round of talks at Sri Labuan. The meeting will continue over dinner before the two leaders join local people at the community centre to watch a cultural performance. The talks will resume tomorrow over golf with another session scheduled at Sri Labuan later in the morning. — Bernama 

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