The Malaysia-Saudi Arabia bilateral relationship has improved under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar told the Dewan Negara today (September 2).
Kamarudin also said despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the foreign ministries of both countries had been working to strengthen ties with constant communication through video conferences, for example.
He also said Saudi Arabia played a role in aiding Malaysia’s efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Kamarudin was responding to an oral question by Senator Siti Fatimah Yahya who had asked the Foreign Ministry to state the status of Malaysia’s diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia which was seen as declining under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and the steps taken to restore it.
“It is clear the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia diplomatic ties have become more productive and dynamic under the current prime minister’s leadership.
“Saudi Arabia also handed out one of the biggest contributions made by a foreign country when Malaysia was struck by Covid-19.
“Among the 12 types of items given to us were millions of face masks and state of the art medical equipment.”
Kamarudin said Saudi Arabia had also gone the extra mile by easing the repatriation process of Malaysians living there following the closure of international air space.
“As of today, 1,264 Malaysians have been brought home via 11 special Saudi Air flights. The Saudi Arabia government had also sponsored the air tickets for 45 Malaysians in its first flight to Malaysia.”
Kamarudin said although the diplomatic ties were being viewed as declining in recent years, Saudi Arabia remained one of Malaysia’s biggest trading partner with a recorded trade value of RM22.31 million in 2019.