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REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DATO’ MOHD ZAMRI MOHD KASSIM AMBASSADOR OF MALAYSIA AT THE RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 57TH NATIONAL DAY

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  57TH NATIONAL DAY OF MALAYSIASHANGRI-LA MAKATI HOTEL, 1 SEPTEMBER, 7 – 9 PM
 
Honourable Evan P. Garcia, Undersecretary for Policy, Department of Foreign Affairs,
 
His Excellency Christian Anthony Vihruri, Deputy Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
 
Honourable Secretaries; Honourable Governors; Honourable Mayors,
 
Members of the Diplomatic Corps; officials from the Government of the Philippines and the Embassy of Malaysia,
 
Business leaders; and members of the Malaysian community in the Philippines,
 
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 57th National Day of Malaysia, which fell yesterday on 31 August. 2014 also marks the 51st Anniversary of Malaysia Day, which will fall on the upcoming 16th of September.
 
2.       The ties between Malaysia and the Philippines continue to grow stronger. Trade and investment between our two countries are increasing, totalling a two-way figure of USD 3.67 billion in 2013. Tourist arrivals to and from both our countries have also been steadily increasing. For 2013, some 557,000 Filipinos travelled to Malaysia, a 9.9 per cent increase over the previous year. Political relations between our Governments have been the best that it has ever been.
 
3.       As neighbours and as founding members of ASEAN, our futures will continue to intertwine. And as we move towards an ASEAN Community in 2015, Malaysia and the Philippines will be further closely linked.
 
4.       In its own circumstances, this past year has been a trying time for both our countries. The Philippines was struck by death and devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, and the peace processes in the South are continuing. For Malaysia, we have been struck by the tragedies of MH 370 and MH 17. But in all of these, the Philippines remains a true and trusted friend of Malaysia. You have given us solidarity and support in our time of adversity and mourning, just as we have endeavoured as best as we can to support you during the natural disasters that have occurred, and in your efforts to find peace in the South.
 
5.       We are honoured that His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III, was able to conduct a State Visit to Malaysia earlier this year, and for the Honourable Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, to visit the Philippines to witness the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Other visits and exchanges have taken place between our two countries this past year, strengthening all forms of cooperation. Whether such cooperation is political through our bilateral relations, economic through enhanced trade and investment links, or cultural through education exchanges, people-to-people contact or increased two-way tourism arrivals, our relationship will continue to bear fruit - leading to tangible outcomes for the benefit of the peoples of Malaysia and the Philippines.  
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
6.       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.
 
7.       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,
 
8.       On this auspicious occasion of Malaysia’s 57th National Day, I wish to 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 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!