Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday commended President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for his “great strides” in sustaining peace in Mindanao.
“I must express again my profound thanks and gratitude. This has been a century-long contentious issue that affect the region and, in particular, Malaysia too,” Anwar told the Filipino leader during their historic bilateral meeting in Malacañang.
“And under your leadership [as] President, you have seen great strides in this direction. And I think it’s only our duty as a good neighbor to support and facilitate the process and… things need to be done at the bilateral level to support this endeavor. It has to succeed in the interest of the Philippines and Malaysia and the region and then utilize this enormous potential to the benefit of our people,” the Malaysian Prime Minister added.
According to Anwar, Malaysia will continue to “offer assistance to the Bangsamoro people” in the pursuit of peace.
The Malaysian leader said this will be done through “various capacity-building programs including through our Malaysia technical cooperation program.”
President Marcos, for his part, said as immediate neighbors, both the Philippines and Malaysia recognize the importance of sustaning peace and security in the region.
“As such, we agreed to continue our cooperation on political and security matters, rekindling the Joint Commission Meetings and joint initiatives to combat transnational crime and terrorism,” the President said.
Manila and Kuala Lumpur also shared historic roots are deep, the Filipino leader added.
“As such, we spoke of further deepening our people-to-people ties through continued cultural exchanges and tourism,” Marcos said.
Anwar also committed to support and enhance cooperation with the Brunei Darussalam –Indonesia– Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or the BIMP-EAGA, as well as the hosting of the Brunei- Indonesia- Malaysia-Philippines Facilitation Center.
The Malaysian leader also shared President Marcos concerns regarding the tension in the West Philippine Sea, citing the need for a “multilateral level” approach in dealing with the issue.
“Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the issue, we should try and engage and take the position at a multilateral level between ASEAN so that we have a comprehensive approach and achieve an amicable resolution to this outstanding problem,” the Malaysia PM said. (PND)