LONDON: IN a ceremony steeped in tradition on Thursday, the Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany presented his letter of credence to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Sadik, 59, who arrived earlier this year to assume his duty as the 21st Malaysian high commissioner to the UK, said he was amazed by the warmth and friendly disposition of the British monarch who showed much interest in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“She was very friendly and engaging. She is knowledgeable and interested in the bilateral relations between our countries,” said Sadik after the 20-minute ceremonial function.
The high commissioner was accompanied by his wife, Datin Jakkiah Basran, and four officials from the High Commission. They were Deputy High Commissioner Mohamad Suhaimi Jaafar, Education Malaysia UK director Dr Shafie Mohamed Zabri, Matrade trade commissioner Megat Iskandar Ahmad Dassilah and defence adviser Brigadier-General Datuk Subari Tomo.
Sadik said he informed Queen Elizabeth that his function was to ensure continuous close cooperation between the two countries to bring in investments to Malaysia and to bring about business opportunities for Malaysians to the UK.
“Malaysia and the UK have a long link in the education field and I would like to encourage students from Britain to go to Malaysia to study.
“There are many Malaysian students in the UK and it is time that we encourage British students to study in Malaysia. As it is, there are already six UK universities in Malaysia and this is an advantage.”
Although it was a wet and cold day, the tradition of transporting the high commissioner and his entourage in two horse-drawn semi-state Landaus and a limousine went in style and without a hitch.
Riding together with the high commissioner and wife was the Marshall of the Diplomatic Corp Alistair Harrison.
The high commissioner was in the Malay traditional attire, complete with tanjak, sash and sampin.
Upon returning, the high commissioner and his wife took part in the age-old tradition of feeding the horses with carrots and apples before proceeding to host a reception attended by friends of Malaysia from the diplomatic world.
Present were the International Maritime Organisation secretary-general Kitack Lim and all 10 Asean’s ambassadors and high commissioners.
With a 30-year career in foreign affairs and in the diplomatic service, Sadik has served in various postings, including Australia, Ghana, Eastern Europe, United States, Iran and Hungary.