PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Malaysia’s 57th independence day was celebrated with ambassadors from around the world at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal last Tuesday night.
“The national day of Malaysia – I always feel at home when I come to see the members of ASEAN,” commented Mr. Touchayoot Pakdi, ambassador of Thailand.
Drums welcomed ambassador of Malaysia Mr. Raszlan Abdul Rashid to the podium. This was followed by a salute to the Cambodian and Malaysian anthems.
Ambassador Raszlan Abdul Rashid conveyed how the 57th national day of Malaysia this year has been observed by all Malaysians at very difficult times. “The nation is filled with grief over the horrific incident of Malaysia airlines flight MH 17 on July 17 and the second incident of the flight of Malaysia airline flight MH 370 on March 8 this year.
However, in all our difficulties, we feel very fortunate and grateful that we have fully bonded together and were held together by the strong warm comforting arms of friends from across the world.”
A sorrow remorse for the victims was shown and he encouraged the families to remain strong by initiating a moment of silence for the victims.
He continued to say that the both countries have had a history of friendly political ties and hopes it will continue to be productive in the dialogue in the future global mechanism of ASEAN.
“Malaysia takes great pride in the opportunity to play a minutiae role in the development of Cambodia in the spirit of the ASEAN corporation and mutual support. “ The departments of banking and financing along with sales of property development have cost an estimated three billion dollars.”
“Cambodia has risen to be one of the key exports in the ASEAN over the last several years, led by the government of Cambodia and the cambers of commerce.”
“There has been a steady increase of Cambodian tourists in Malaysia, which shows the rise of middles class with a strong disposable income in this country. We want to further the relationship— with stronger and stable economic growth and development – with many talks of further expansions and developing new ones.”
After ending on the positive note, the ambassador exited to make way for the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong to speak. His short speech touched on the twin Malaysia airlines flight tragedies and more toasts to the bettering of the relationship between Cambodia and Malaysia continued.
Once the formalities ended, the sensual smells of Malaysian food brought happy smiles. There was an air of condolences and optimism from those in attendance.
“Cambodia and Malaysia have good relations, it is a happy day.” Said Chap Nhalyvoud, Advisor to His Royal Highness Prince Norodom Sirivudh and the former governor of Siem Reap Province.
Ambassador of India, Dinesh K. Patnaik stated, “The links to Malaysia are very strong and such a connection is amazing.
Malaysia has the largest number of flights to India, and Malaysia Airlines is still the most popular airlines in India. There is a lot of sympathy for what happened, but none of it was Malaysia’s fault. Unfortunately Malaysian airlines were affected by something that was beyond their control. We wish all the best to Malaysia.”
Chak Sopheap, the executive director of the Cambodian Center of Human Right (CCHR) was also in attendance. Enjoying the Mee Rebus curry, she pondered, “I think Cambodia and Malaysia have very good relations in terms of business and politics.
However, the corporations can expand to ensure the human rights principles are there and can benefit both nations. In terms of migration, this relation can ensure the interests for both countries because there has been a slow pace in the garment industry for that.”
Another guest, Cynthia Gan who was happily enjoying her beef randang told the Khmer Times, “I’m proud to be Malaysian in Cambodia and celebrate with such wonderful people and food.”
Ambassador Raszlan Abdul Rashid and Mr. Hor Namhong — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation — cutting the cake for Malaysia’s 57th Independence Day on September 2. (KT Photo: Chor Sokunthea)