WASHINGTON DC – The willingness of the United States’ administration to have close cooperation with Malaysia in matters concerning terrorism, cross-border crime and visa exemption will open a new era in bilateral relations.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia saw the positive attitude of the US leaders on the Putrajaya administration following the conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Atlanta recently.
However, this development did not mean Malaysia should ‘kow tow’ to the US, he told a group of Malaysians who had gathered at the grounds of the official residence of the Malaysian Ambassador here in conjunction with the National Sports Day celebration on Saturday morning.
“Good friends should not kow tow but they appreciate our contribution especially in resolving the problems of terrorism, cross-border crime,” he said.
At the same time, he said Malaysia respected relations with the other major world powers, especially those countries which were closer neighbours.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that while at the US administration centre, he could feel the respect accorded during his meetings with several US leaders.
“Although we are a small nation while the US is a major power, the feeling of respect exists and we see the chemistry in the discussions that they appreciate what is being done by Malaysia,” he said.
Among Ahmad Zahid’s programmes here is the signing of the HSPD-6 Homeland Security Presidential Directives No.6 with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, aimed at enabling Malaysia to participate in the US visa exemption programme.
Prior to Ahmad Zahid’s visit here, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, together with several other cabinet ministers, had attended the major sessions at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York while International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed was in Atlanta to conclude the TPP negotiations.
Commenting on the TPP to Malaysian journalists later, Ahmad Zahid said the US understood and respected Malaysia’s policy which must be protected when the cooperation came into force.