About 300 members of the Malaysian diaspora in Cambodia had the opportunity to dine with their Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday during his official visit to the Kingdom.
The evening opened with traditional dances and choir performances by the students of Limkokwing University Of Creative Technology in Cambodia, followed by a welcoming address from Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim.
During his opening speech, Mr Mahathir reminded fellow Malaysians living abroad to abide by the laws of the country that they reside in, so as to maintain harmonious bilateral relationships between the nations.
“Malaysians are now scattered all over the world. Wherever I go, I will meet with Malaysian diaspora living abroad but they still maintain close ties with our motherland,” he said. “Our policy is to be close and friendly to the countries of the world as these friendships bode well for us.”
“When we go to live, work or do business in other countries, we must respect their laws and practices,” he added. “We must show respect for them. They may have different ways – quite different than what we are used to in Malaysia – but that is their way and they are entitled to their own way.”
Malaysians who were present at the Sofitel Phnom Penh dinner also had the chance to engage in a dialogue session moderated by Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, during which Mr Mahathir’s views on the country’s education system, financial status and politics were shared.
Aside from some of the more serious questions, Sofitel’s grand ballroom also roared with laughter due to Mr Mahathir’s witty remarks.
When asked for health tips, the 94-year-old cheekily said: “Not this again. Wherever I go, I always get asked that. To be honest, I myself don’t even know.”
He then proceeded to give his advice: “We must refrain from eating so much. The heart would have to work three times as hard if we put on triple the weight. Exercise is important too – both of the body and the mind.”