Malaysia’s Mahathir to visit Philippines, meet Duterte

Paterno Esmaquel II
This will be the 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad's first visit to the Philippines since he returned as Malaysia's prime minister in 2018

MALAYSIA'S LEADER. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad addresses civil servants from the Prime Minister's Office during his first assembly in Putrajaya on May 21, 2018. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will visit the Philippines and meet with President Rodrigo Duterte next week, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Thursday, February 28.

The official visit of Mahathir, 93, is set to take place from Wednesday to Thursday, March 6 to 7, said the DFA.

“President Duterte will officially welcome Prime Minister Mahathir at ceremonies in Malacañang Palace on March 7, 2019, after which the two leaders will hold a bilateral meeting to survey and discuss cooperation in the political, economic, and people-to-people spheres, and exchange views on the topics of mutual importance,” the DFA said.

This will be Mahathir’s first visit to the Philippines since he returned as Malaysia’s prime minister in 2018, said the DFA.

In his previous term as prime minister, Mahathir had undertaken bilateral official visits in 1987 and 1994, said the DFA. 

Mahathir is also scheduled to meet with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during his  trip to the Philippines. –

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at