Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany (second from left) at a reception to celebrate the country’s 62nd National Day in London recently. Present are his wife, Datin Jakkiah Basran (left), and United Kingdom trade envoy to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines Richard Graham (centre). PIC COURTESY OF WISMA PUTRA

LONDON: The Malaysian High Commission in London recently held a reception to celebrate the country’s 62nd National Day, as well as Malaysia Day.

About 300 guests from the diplomatic corps, the business community, and former soldiers of the British army including Gurkha soldiers who once served in Malaysia, attended the reception, held at the Malaysian High Commission office at Belgrave Square here.

The event was hosted by High Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany and his wife, Datin Jakkiah Basran.

Present was United Kingdom trade envoy to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Richard Graham.

In his welcome speech, Sadik spoke about the Malaysian government’s new approach to its relationship with the world, as well as its contributions towards making it a better place.

Referring to Malaysia’s longstanding relationship with the UK, Sadik said it grew from strength to strength based on mutual respect and benefit.

He said the partnership continued to be broad-based and substantive, covering a wide range of cooperation, including trade investment, defence, oil and gas, as well as education.

“As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, it has shown greater interest in deepening its relationship with Asean. We welcome the UK government’s effort towards this end,” said Sadik.

Responding to the High Commissioner’s speech, Graham reaffirmed the depth of the two countries’ relations.

“Malaysia is our second biggest trading partner within Asean. There is always the opportunity to overtake Singapore and be the top of the tree. And you are our second biggest investor as a nation, in properties in London, led of course by the great flagship development of Battersea. And when fully open, it will be London’s No. 1 retail experience destination and a symbol of what Malaysian investment can achieve far away from Malaysia’s borders.”

As a tribute to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Graham who met the prime minister in June during the latter’s visit to London, told the audience what Dr Mahathir had intimated to him before a conference, in reference to Britain’s Brexit plans.

“He said to me beforehand, ‘The UK was a great company, a great country before you joined the EU. It is a great country now and so will be afterward. When you have resolved what your future relationship is, let us know and we will work out what the best way is to develop our bilateral relationship’.”

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