PETALING JAYA: From battling the pandemic to exporting frozen Musang King, outgoing China ambassador Bai Tian has many cherished memories about Malaysia. Scenes of Malaysians donating funds and supplies to Wuhan when it was a Covid-19 hotspot earlier this year with people chanting “Wuhan, stay strong” would always be etched in his heart, he said.
“I will never forget a Malay proverb that I have repeated countless times – bukit sama didaki, lurah sama dituruni (going through hills and valleys together).
“It is a clear testimony of the deep friendship between two true friends who always help each other in times of need, ” he said, referring to the ties between China and Malaysia.
Bai, who assumed office in Malaysia on Nov 28,2017, will end his tenure later this month.
In a moving speech during an online reception to mark China’s 71st National Day and his farewell to Malaysia, Bai said that his heart would always remain in Malaysia.
“As a diplomat, I live a life of coming and going, meeting new people and bidding friends farewell. I am going home in a few weeks’ time, but my heart will stay here, ” he said.
The reception was carried out online for the first time and transmitted over the embassy’s Facebook page in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He spoke of the waving of Malaysian flags and the “pride and joy” seen in the faces of Malaysians on National Day.
“I will remember when Chinese and Malaysian engineers toiled together shoulder-to-shoulder on ECRL (East Coast Rail Link).
“I will remember the excitement I felt when the first cargo of frozen Musang King (durian) departed for China, ” he said.Bai also spoke about the growth in Chinese investment in Malaysia and Malaysia’s export to China in the first half of the year despite overall downward pressures in the world economy.
This proved once again the bright prospects of the bilateral cooperation of both countries, he added.
Moving forward, he said China would work together with Malaysia to enhance cooperation in Covid-19 vaccine development.
Despite the many challenges in the past three years, Bai said the friendship and cooperation between Malaysia and China had strengthened.
“The mutual trust between China and Malaysia has become stronger, the prospect of our cooperation has become broader, the quality of our cooperation has become higher, and the resilience of our bilateral ties has become tougher, ” he said.
He also said the bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries had been gradually expanded from the lower industry chain of manufacture and contract construction to high-end electronics, biomedicine and green energy.
Thanking Malaysia and the people’s support for him and the embassy, Bai said: “I hope Malaysians could accomplish more achievements and once again let the world hear the roar of the Tiger of Asia.”