Aquino in Malaysia for state visit
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III is in Malaysia for a two-day state visit, where he will discuss business opportunities in the Philippines with the Malaysian business community and thank the country for their help during Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and their support for the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Before Aquino left on Thursday, February 27, he said the trip was to "build on the coordination and cooperation of the government and Malaysia."
"Good communication and trust is the reason why Malyasia is one of our strongest allies in the region. We are together with them in our stance on a peaceful and just resolution on territorial issues, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We agree that true and lasting stability will be reached only if we stand on a foundation of dignity, respect and following the law," he said. (READ: China offers PH 'carrot' to quit case)
The agenda of the visit – upon the invitation of His Majesty The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Head of State of Malaysia, and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak – includes talks to strengthen the economic partnership between the two countries. Aquino is scheduled to attend the inauguration of the first Petron gas station in Kuala Lumpur, which represents the estimated $1.2 billion-investment of Petron Corporation in Malaysia.
He is also set to meet with Malaysian businessmen to discuss business opportunities in the country, as well as the heads of Maybank, AirAsia and Genting to talk about the details of their planned or ongoing expansion projects in the Philippines.
Aquino said he will also visit the Filipino community in Malaysia to "ensure they are well and their needs are met and rights respected."
In January, the Philippines warned Filipinos in Malaysia to prepare for a crackdown on undocumented foreigners there.
In its latest estimate, the Commission of Overseas Filipinos (CFO) pegs the number of undocumented, illegally employed, and overstaying Filipino nationals in Malaysia at 200,000 as of December 2010. It pegs the number of Filipinos in Malaysia at 316,273.
The President also said he would also make sure to thank Malaysia for their help during Yolanda.
"When our countrymen were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Malaysia donated $1 million worth of aid. Their government also sent 10 C-130 airplanes. They extended medical and humanitarian assistance teams and other forms of relief goods like blankets and medicine," he said.
Aquino said he would also thank them for their support in "finding true and lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao."
"Through their support, we have finally reached an agreement on the annexes of our Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro," he said. Kuala Lumpur has been the host of the talks. - Rappler.com