U.S.- Malaysian relations are at a highpoint, and hold great promise for expanded cooperation in critical areas such as increased trade and investment, cooperation in science and education, counterterrorism and nuclear-weapons non-proliferation.
Speaking in Kuala Lumpur after a meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the 2 countries already have a strong partnership based on common values such as respect for cultural diversity and pluralism. They also share important trade, business, and investment ties. "We know that Malaysia is a leader in this region, ... and increasingly [is] being looked to as both a thought leader and a model globally," she said.
But good relations between countries grow stronger through good understanding and relations between their peoples. Recognizing this maxim to be true, the Obama Administration has invested much effort into expanding people-to-people engagement between the United States and people around the world, including Malaysia. For that reason, the U.S. will work toward increasing people-to-people ties through education and student exchanges. "Speaking a common language, the language of computers, of technology, of business and investment, does create a powerful bond," said Secretary Clinton.
"We’ve already begun delivering on Prime Minister [Najib’s] vision [of dramatically improving English language instruction in Malaysia] by doubling our program that helps young Malaysians get access to high-quality after-school English programs. And as Foreign Minister [Anifah] and I agreed, our teams will begin discussing how to further expand English language learning," she said.
The 2 countries further strengthened their already outstanding relations by acknowledging and signing three major agreements: first, a Memorandum of Understanding between the 2 governments, designed to expand collaboration on research and development of new technologies; second, a partnership between the Government of Malaysia and Johns Hopkins University to build a new medical school and teaching hospital in Malaysia; and finally, the sale of 50 Pratt and Whitney airplane engines to Malaysia Airlines, which will create new jobs in both countries.
"Our countries have a lot in common, and I am very excited by what I’ve already heard here in Malaysia," said Secretary of State Clinton. "We are particularly enthusiastic about deepening, broadening, and strengthening our relationship with Malaysia."