South African President Nelson Mandela is in Singapore for a two day visit where he was given a ceremonial welcome.
But the visit is likely to spark some controversy after the President said Thursday that South Africa had no hesitation in trading with Southeast Asian nations despite their close links with Burma's military rulers, accused of suppressing human rights and democracy.
Mandela, whose anti-apartheid struggle inspired democracy and human rights activism around the world, said the new democratic South Africa cannot be influenced by the foreign policies of other countries.
Nelson Mandela limped down the plane to a warm welcome by Singapore President Ong Teng Cheong.
Singapore, the Lion City, was the South African President's third stop of his ten-day trip through Southeast Asia.
He made it a point to introduce his official companion, Mrs Grace Machel, a former Mozambique first lady.
Their relationship has been the subject of much media speculation but the couple have refused to give anything away.
The South African entourage, most of them business delegates, were given a ceremonial welcome on arrival.
Before arriving for his visit to Singapore, Mandela had stopped over in the Philippines and Brunei.
The South African president is aiming to drum up investments and trade between Africa and Asia.
But it was not all work and no play.
Mandela made a stop at Singapore's famous Botanical Gardens, pleasantly surprising tourists and visitors at the park.
This tree, the giant cola from West Africa, was dedicated to him, marked by a plaque. This the first time a visiting dignitary has been given a tree.
Mandela's popularity was evident.
Everywhere the President went in the park, he was mobbed by admirers - tourists and locals, alike.
Singapore also presented him with a selection of orchids, specially bred for naming purposes.
All Mandela had to do was to choose one specie out of four that he liked best and the hybrid flower was officially named after him.
Other leaders who have been given this honour include Margaret Thatcher and former Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto.
But Mrs Machel wasn't left out either and also choose a flower, becoming the first non-head of state to have an orchid in her name.
The President brushed aside speculation, Thursday, that wedding bells are likely anytime soon but confirmed he would continue to travel with her.
Mandela also received Singapore's Senior Minister, Lee Kuan Yew at his hotel suite.
But even as the President of Singapore praised Mandela for his contributions to African democracy, one Singapore opposition party hit out at the Singapore government for hypocrisy.
They criticised political leaders for paying tribute to Mandela while imposing restrictions on a local former political detainee.
It's not known whether the two leaders discussed Singapore's former political detainee, who was arrested under Lee's instructions.
Before leaving for his next stop-over in Malaysia, Mandela attended a state dinner held in his honour.
It was largely attended by government and business representatives, a chance for informal contacts to be developed.
ASEAN countries, especially Singapore and Malaysia, have recently gone big on investments in African nations.
Mandela says his visit is to strengthen those growing ties.
The South African leader made it clear that his country would not hesitate to do business with ASEAN even if Burma (Myanmar) is admitted into the seven-nation grouping, saying that his country could not afford to be influenced by the foreign policies of other countries.