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William, Kate head to East Malaysia for rainforest trip

(Xinhua)

12:41, September 15, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine left Kuala Lumpur on Friday and headed to Sabah state in East Malaysia, where the royal couple will take a glimpse at Malaysia's well-reserved rainforest.

Prince William and Catherine, who is known to the public more often as Kate, were welcomed by many local Malaysians and British compatriots at the Kuala Lumpur City Center Park, near the iconic Petronas Twin Towers on Friday morning.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched several cultural performances including traditional Malay dance and martial art during the walkabout in the park, before attending the luncheon hosted by British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce.

William delivered a speech at the function and praised the long tradition of friendship and partnership between Britain and Malaysia.

"At the heart of our long-standing partnership, is business," William told the audience.

"Britain is an innovative, competitive and above all, an open economy that warmly welcomes Malaysia's businessman and women," he said, "Nothing can make that clearer than the recent acquisition by a Malaysian consortium on the iconic Battersea power station in London, just a mile away from the British parliament at the Westminster."

The prince's speech drew much laughter when he joked that it was a relief that durian, a tropical fruit famous for its delicious taste and odd smell, was not on the menu.

"Having tried it yesterday at the Prime Minister's lunch, I feared for the safety of the people I met thereafter."

William and Kate wrapped up their itinerary in the Malaysian capital after attending a tea party at the residence of British High Commissioner and left for Sabah state, where they are scheduled to go deep into the rainforest.

The royal couple, who are on a four-nation trip in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee, arrived at Malaysia after visiting Singapore.

They are scheduled to visit the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu after the trip to Malaysia.

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