Saifuddin: Malaysia-India ties are a ‘civilisation-based’ friendship

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia regards the 65 years of diplomatic ties with India as not merely anchored on bilateral relations but extended to the level of friendship based on civilisation, says Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).

The minister said there has been significant progress in the two countries’ bilateral relations and the civilisational relationship enjoyed by both countries made the relationship even more special.

“Our relations predate the 65 years of official bilateral relations, the relations between India and Malaysia and the people of India and Malaysia is not just a bilateral relation, but a civilisational relation,” he said in his speech at the special commemorative event” ‘India-Malaysia@65’ organised by the Consortium of Indian Industries in Malaysia (CIIM) and Malaysia India Business Council (MIBC) to celebrate 65 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Malaysia here, on Friday (Sept 9) night.

Also present at the event were the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, B.N Reddy and Founder Chairman of CIIM Datuk Umang Sharma.

The minister said the relationship between India and Malaysia had grown from Strategic Partnership in 2010 to Enhanced Strategic Partnership in 2015, eyeing new cooperation in cultural diplomacy, digital economy and agro commodity.

“During my visit to New Delhi in June 2022, I met my (counterpart) India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar at the sidelines of the special Asean-India Foreign Ministers’ meeting and discussed possible new cooperation in various fields including cultural diplomacy as well as trade and investment,” he added.

He said over 150 Indian companies have invested US$3bil in Malaysia in various sectors namely biotechnology, financial services, manufacturing and textile industry.

Saifuddin said considering the strategic location and conducive business environment, Indian companies are encouraged to expand their operations taking advantage of Malaysia being the hub for Asean.

Meanwhile, Reddy in his speech said the 65 years of vibrant ties between India and Malaysia takes pride from the Indian diaspora community in Malaysia, the second largest in the world, who are the living bond of friendship between India and Malaysia.

On the education sector, the diplomat said considering the success of the Melaka-Manipal Medical College in Malaysia in churning out close to 15,000 medical doctors in Malaysia to date, India would have its first offshore campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Malaysia. – Bernama