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REMARKS BY H. E. DATO’ MOHD ZAMRI MOHD KASSIM AT THE RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 56TH NATIONAL DAY OF MALAYSIA

 
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DATO’ MOHD ZAMRI MOHD KASSIM AMBASSADOR OF MALAYSIA TO THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AT THE  RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 56TH NATIONAL DAY OF MALAYSIA SHANGRI-LA MAKATI HOTEL, 11 SEPTEMBER, 7 – 9 PM
 
Honourable Rafael E. Seguis, Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs;
 
His Excellency Christian Anthony Vihruri, Deputy Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;
 
Members of the Diplomatic Corps; officials from the Government of the Philippines and the Embassy of Malaysia;
 
Distinguished Guests;
 
Business leaders; and members of the Malaysian community in the Philippines,
 
May I also acknowledge the esteemed presence here this evening of Yang Amat Mulia Tengku Syarif Temenggong Perlis, Dato’ Seri Diraja Syed Amir Abidin Jamalullail, and Yang Mulia Che Puan Temenggong Perlis, Datin Seri Diraja Farinawati Mohd Din, State of Perlis lies in the north of the Malay Peninsula, border with south Thailand and Langkawi.
 
I also wish to welcome the Honourable President Fidel V. Ramos.
 
Good evening,
 
The Embassy of Malaysia in Manila welcomes all of you. As we say in Bahasa Malaysia, ‘Selamat Datang’.
 
May I express our warm gratitude and appreciation for you having made time to join us in this auspicious celebration of the 56th National Day of Malaysia., which falls on 31 August. 2013 also marks the 50th Anniversary of Malaysia Day, which will fall on the upcoming 16th of September.
 
2.     The Philippines remains a true close and trusted friend of Malaysia. As we move towards an ASEAN Community in 2015, Malaysia and the Philippines will be further closely linked.Our bilateral relationship is broad, friendly and warm, and continues to depict a steady upward trend, much to the appeasement of Malaysian’s, as well as Filipinos.
 
 
Economy
 
3.     As a nations rises, we see burgeoning opportunities. The Republic of the Philippines is an Elysium of vast potential and opportunities.
 
4.     We see the stellar rise in the performance of the Philippines economy which speaks volumes of tremendous development happening. In tandem with the contemporary essence of diplomacy, economics, trade and investment is partially imperative. The economic ties between our two countries continue to grow. MATRADE Manila, the economic trade and investment arm of the Embassy, continues to work hard to further enhance such ties. Bilateral trade in 2012 reached USD4.95 billion.
 
5.     As two mutually complimentary, vibrant and dynamic economies, Malaysia and the Philippines are good places to invest and do business, and there is much potential for further strengthening of trade and investment.
 
6.     Malaysia will also be hosting the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit GES from 11 to 12 October 2013. This GES 2013 promises to be the global hive of everything entrepreneurship, and great minds from all over the world will converge in Kuala Lumpur.
 
 
Political
 
7.     In the past year, the Malaysian Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak had visited Manila in October 2012 to observe the signing of the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro; Philippine Foreign Secretary the Honourable Albert F. Del Rosario had visited Kuala Lumpur in March of this year, while the Malaysian Foreign Minister, the Honourable Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman had similarily visited Manila in June. We also hope to welcome H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino IIi to Malaysia sometime soon.
 
8.     As well Malaysia has also been facilitating and hosting the Government of the Philippines – MILF peace process since 2001. We remain absolutely committed, rain or shine. Together, under the wise stewardship of OPPAP, we shall move forward for a quick resolution, hopefully by year’s end, as pronounced by President Aquino. Nothing is insurmountable. Peace is a prerequisite for everything – an indispensable factor to collectively work for our best interests.
 
9.     We are also fully committed with the trust given by the Philippines to lead the International Monitoring Team in Mindanao (IMT), in cooperation with our valued international partners.
 
 
Capacity-Building
 
10.   Malaysia assists the Philippines in capacity-building through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme, or MTCP. Since 1980, a total 1100 participants from the Philippines have benefited.  For 2013, as of today, the MTCP has offered 30 courses to the Philippines. A special programme of sharing Malaysian experiences in rural development, involving 45 Filipino participants, is slated in October.
 
 
Defense
 
11.   Defense cooperation between Malaysia and the Philippines is excellent. There have been a flurry of high-level recent visits to both Malaysia and the Philippines by the Malaysian Army Chief and Deputy Chief, Navy Chief, and Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines.
 
 
Tourism
 
12.   Up until June, Malaysia received a total of 277,040 Filipino tourists. This reflects a growth of 16.5%. The frequency of flights per week has also increased from 62 flights in 2012 to 76 flights now.
 
13.   We will be celebrating our fourth Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) in 2014. VMY is all about bringing Malaysia to the world and bringing the world to Malaysia.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
 
14.   There are indeed unlimited opportunities for further cooperation. I am confident that in the years ahead, Malaysia under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib and the Philippines under President Aquino will further guide these close relations to new and greater heights.
 
15.   The wellbeing of the Malaysian community in the Philippines is of our prime concern. Being away from home can sometimes be challenging. It is thus very important for us to enhance our relations amongst each other and our beautiful host country. May I take this opportunity to congratulate all Malaysian ‘warganegara’ in the Philippines who have been working hard to ensure that the Malaysian community here continues to epitomise a vibrant, respected and active community abroad.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
 
16.   Once again, on this auspicious occasion of Malaysia’s 56th National Day, on behalf of each and every Malaysian here in the Philippines, I wish to offer my warmest greetings to His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines government and the Filipino people. May the Philippines continue to enjoy peace, progress  and prosperity in the years ahead.
 
17.   I wish to now invite you all to join me in a toast to the continued good health and prosperity of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines government and the People of the Philippines; and to the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between Malaysia and the Philippines.
 
 
“To the continued good health and prosperity of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines and the People of the Philippines.”
 
Selamat Hari Merdeka, Mabuhay and Maraming Salamat!
Terima kasih.