In my joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday, I expressed my heartfelt gratitude towards Tony Abbott and the Australian government for being a valuable ally and friend in light of our MH370 and MH17 tragedies.
During such dark hours, there was a silver lining and it came from our friends, especially Australia. I like to say once again that we owe you a deep gratitude right from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Australian government and Australian people for your generosity and deep commitment to help us find MH370.
Australia has expressed outright support for Malaysia’s candidature to the UN Security Council. We share concerns over the Islamic State Militants (ISIS). I stress that ISIS is a misnomer as the organisation does not represent Islam.
On the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) of which Malaysia, Australia and other countries are a part of, Malaysia remains committed to signing the agreement – provided that all our concerns and interests are accommodated.
Australia is also one of the preferred destinations for tertiary education for Malaysians. We have formally accepted Australia’s invitation to participate in the New Colombo Plan in 2015. We will soon see more Australians coming to Malaysia to do short study stints in Malaysian universities and internship in Malaysia.
I believe that Tony Abbott’s inaugural visit to Malaysia since his appointment will undoubtedly further cement the close and outstanding relations between our two nations. We have enjoyed the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Australia since 1957, our countries have reaped the benefits of vibrant relations, buoyed by substantive cooperation notably in the areas of trade and investment, education, defence, security and people-to-people links.