BALI, Indonesia, Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, arrived in Bali Thursday, to attend the inaugural ASEAN Leaders' Gathering (ALG), making a nostalgic return to an ASEAN meeting in the island resort after 15 years. It was at the ASEAN Summit in Bali that he bid farewell to the 10-member grouping, when he stepped down as the prime minister of Malaysia in 2003.

This visit is Dr Mahathir's second to Indonesia since becoming prime minister for the second time, after Malaysia's historic general election in May.

Upon arrival at 11.45 am Thursday, at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Dr Mahathir was welcomed by Indonesia's Minister of Public Works and Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono. The Prime Minister is accompanied by his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali; Foreign Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, as well as, officials from the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry.

The theme of the ALG is 'Achieving Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and Overcoming Development Gap through Regional and Global Collaborative Actions.'

Dr Mahathir is scheduled to deliver his remarks at the gathering, as well as, attend the official dinner hosted by Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo.

Other ASEAN leaders attending the gathering are Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong; Philippines' President, Rodrigo Duterte; Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Thailand's Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha. Cambodia's Prime Minister, Hun Sen; Prime Minister of Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith; Vietnam's Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Myanmar President, U Win Myint.

Dr Mahathir is also expected to hold bilateral discussions with his ASEAN counterparts on the sidelines of the gathering.

As the gathering is held simultaneously with the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, the ASEAN leaders are also set to engage with IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde; World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, and United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

Source: NAM News Network