Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Yesterday I attended a reception organised by the British High Commission in honour of the short few hours working visit of the British PM to Malaysia after a successful tour of Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. I was standing at the back of the hall full of Malaysian businessmen and officials as well as a big delegation from Britain who accompanied the Premier. I did not even have the oppurtunity to be near him but close enough to hear his short and succinct speech of the PM. I thought his remarks were an effective one marketing strategy seeking Malaysian investors to invest in Britain as they had done in the Battersea Project. 

Based on the applause he received from the Malaysian audience obviously he was a popular and admired PM of Britain. I suppose Britain still has a lot of pulling factor to Malaysians. The bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Britain seemed to be strong and warm. This was clearly demonstrated by the Malaysian PM receiving him at the airport. On top of that accompanying him from the aircraft to the tarmack. Usually this was done by the Chief of Protocol of the host country.This is not normally done on a working visit. (I may be wrong here or out of date with current protocol). From the airport he was accompanied by the PM to his residence for a bilateral meeting and discussion. Again this showed the closeness of Britain to Malaysia. 

The whole brief visit was well covered by the media locally and in Britain. However in Britain what was highlighted was not the business and investment objectives but on the the current Malaysian political environment. It seemed he expressed concerns on the issues of democracy, civil rights and liberties as well as corruption in Malaysia...By doing this he satisfied his critics who had demanded he cancelled the visit to this country. Many Malaysians are also asking about the British role in Myanmar on the human rights abuses and the denial of the rights of the Rohingya to take part in the forthcoming November election and the refusal of Aung Ann Su Kyi's NLD to field any Muslim candidate. I wonder whether PM was able as the Chairman of ASEAN to get the support of the UK government on this issue. Albeit this is the nature of the international system and order.

FBSHApost@31 July 2015

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