KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) — Moroccan ambassador to Malaysia Ahmed Amaziane is impressed with the smooth transition of power from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“It is such an achievement to be able to transfer power in a peaceful manner. I would like to pay tribute and salute the Malaysian leadership in general for this peaceful transition of power from Abdullah to Najib,” he said.
Najib was sworn in as the new prime minister before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on April 3 after Abdullah relinquished the post a day earlier.
On March 28, Abdullah handed over the Umno presidency to Najib to pave the way for the latter to take over as prime minister. By tradition, the Umno president is the country’s prime minister.
Amaziane opined that with Najib helming the country, some of his actions would be a continuity of what Abdullah had done, especially on Vision 2020 to turn Malaysia into a developed nation which the ambassador described as a laudable objective.
“I think the vision is still there right from (former prime minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time and continued by Abdullah and now Najib,” he told Bernama in an interview, here, recently.
However, he said, amid the current economic crisis, the scenario might be a little bit challenging for the new prime minister.
“But most probably in a year or two when the world economy starts to grow again, Malaysia by then will continue its steadfast work towards realising Vision 2020,” he added.
Touching on bilateral relations, he described Malaysia-Morroco ties as excellent and that both nations shared similar views regarding the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
“However, my hope is to try to have more exchange of high-level visits, so hopefully during Najib’s tenure there will be more exchange of visits at the prime ministerial level,” he said.
He explained that last year, the Moroccan prime minister tried to make arrangements for Abdulllah to visit Morocco, but unfortunately the visit could not be realised for “calender” reason.
He said the Moroccan prime minister would be extending an invitation to Najib to visit the country.
“During the visit, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to exchange views on bilateral relations and conclude some agreements which are in the pipeline, especially on higher education to facilitate the exchange of students as well as the abolition of visas,” Amaziane said.
According to the ambassador, such high-level exchange of visits could help in sorting out “technicalities”.
He said Morocco was also impressed with the way Malaysia promoted itself and would like to learn from Malaysia, especially on the “Visit Malaysia Year” concept to see how Morocco could benefit from it.
The Moroccan ambassador also paid tribute to Abdullah’s tenure as prime minister and noted that Malaysia had chaired NAM and OIC during that period. Malaysia was NAM chairman from February 2003 to September 2006 and OIC chairman from October 2003 to March 2008.
He said when Malaysia chaired NAM, Abdullah had brought developing countries together and there was more cooperation among them, and when Malaysia was OIC chairman, Abdullah was adamant that Islamic countries should also have more economic ties.
“Most people look at the OIC as an organisation which deals more with political issues, but Abdullah insisted that economic ties among the member countries be enhanced and there should be more cooperation to solve problems like poverty and illiteracy in Islamic countries,” he elaborated.
He said that within the Islamic realm, Islam Hadhari promoted by Abdullah during his tenure was prominent, especially when there were many quarters in the world labelling Islam as pro-violence.
“The Islam Hadhari concept has, however, shown the real aspect of Islam which is moderation, cooperation and peaceful existence.”
He said that there were 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, so one should not emphasise on the small minority who happened to be extremists since there were millions of other Muslims who live peacefully.
Source : Bernama