PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has found another partner in the fight against terrorism – Maldives.
Both countries have agreed to work closely to share information and best practices in tackling terrorism, transnational crime and extremism.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom were united in rejecting violent extremism and called upon all states to bring its perpetrators to justice.
“We also express strong condemnation of Islamophobia and terrorism in all its forms and manifestation,” said the Prime Minister at a joint press conference with Abdulla Yameen, who is here for a two-day official visit.
This is the Maldivian President’s maiden trip to Malaysia since he assumed office in 2013.
The two leaders have also set their sights on boosting trade and investment, with Maldives calling on Malaysian investors to do business in the island country, specifically in construction, hospitality and tourism.
Najib said Putrajaya was pleased that the Maldives government had given opportunities to several Malaysian companies to venture into business and construction, including building a 25-storey office block to house its Finance Ministry and a 156-bed hospital.
“Malaysia is considering extending the visa facility to Maldivians for a period of 90 days.
“This is in line with our aim to get more people from the island nation to visit and study here.
“With the visa extension, it will help parents who have children studying at our institutes of higher learning,” said the Prime Minister.
Abdulla Yameen said Maldives looks up to Malaysia as a regional economic key player and had a lot to learn from Putrajaya on how to maintain a strong and resilient economy.
“In improving our trade and investment co-operation, we will be talking to Malaysian authorities to sign a treaty to avoid double taxation,” he said, adding that he had also invited Najib to visit his country.
Maldives is also hoping to revive its contract to buy refined oil products from Petronas which was interrupted for a few years, said Abdulla Yameen, adding that Najib has agreed to the dealings.
Abdulla Yameen and his wife Fathimath Ibrahim were earlier given a red carpet welcome at Dataran Perdana, where he inspected a guard of honour mounted by the First Royal Malay Regiment.