Value Proposition

The comprehensive working relationship  co-operation between Malaysia and United States reached a record level in the inaugural official visit of Prime Minister Dato’ Srì Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to the White House.

JOINT STATEMENT FOR ENHANCING THE COMPREHENSIVE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND MALAYSIA

 

13th September 2017

 

The President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, hosted the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, at the White House to strengthen the Comprehensive Partnership between the two countries as they mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations.

 

The United States and Malaysia share a long history of close cooperation built on economic ties and mutual security interests. The two leaders pledged to continue building upon that relationship through enhanced diplomatic, economic, security, and people-to-people ties.

 

President Trump and Prime Minister Najib recognized the grave threat posed by North Korea to security and stability across the Asia-Pacific region. The two leaders expressed their concern over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, which are a flagrant violation of the multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and will only further escalate tensions in the region.

Both sides reaffirmed their support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the need for the international community to strictly implement UNSC resolutions. President Trump welcomed Prime Minister Najib’s commitment to go beyond the UNSC resolutions, including through a review ofits diplomatic relations and business links with North Korea.

 

The two leaders pledged to nurture the economic ties between the United States and Malaysia to create jobs and opportunities for people in both countries, reflecting a longstanding and substantial trade relationship. The two countries recognized the importance of regular discussions under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to strengthen the trade relationship by removing barriers in key sectors. Both sides announced their intent to pursue trade and investment opportunities in the transportation and energy sectors and to address the bilateral trade imbalance.

The two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Malaysia Airlines Berhad and The Boeing Company for eight new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, purchase rights for eight additional 737 MAX airplanes, and maintenance for the national carrier’s fleet, with a potential total value of $4 billion (USD). President Trump welcomed the probability of additional purchases of Boeing aircraft in the future. Both leaders welcomed the involvement of the United States private sector in the development of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. The two countries also committed to review regulatory frameworks with the aim of facilitating investment in their respective economies.

 

Prime Minister Najib and President Trump discussed matters relating to the South China Sea and emphasized the importance of ensuring, maintaining, and safeguarding peace and stability, maritime security, freedom of navigation and over-flight, and other lawful uses of the seas. The two leaders underscored the importance of upholding and adhering to the rules-based maritime order.

They called upon all disputing parties to implement their international legal obligations in good faith, and to avoid the threat or use of force, intimidation, or coercion. They further called on all disputing parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and refrain from action that erodes trust and confidence, and escalates tension, including the militarization of outposts. The two leaders reaffirmed that all maritime claims must be based on and resolved in accordance with international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

 

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the strategic partnership between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN) and to the continued implementation of the principles decided upon by the leaders of the United States and ASEAN in the 2016 Sunnylands Declaration. They affirmed their support for common efforts to develop a rules-based ASEAN Community, and to maintaining ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. The two leaders noted the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s founding and the 40th anniversary of relations between the United States and ASEAN and welcomed commemorative activities.

 

The two leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Southeast Asia. Both leaders re-affirmed the importance of promoting community resilience and mutual respect across religious and ethnic boundaries. As a partner in the fight against ISIS and a member of the Global Coalition led by the United States, the two leaders noted Malaysia’s pledge of $1 million (USD) for humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS. The United States recognized Malaysia’s continued progress toward meeting program requirements for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, including obligations under the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) and Preventing and Combatting Serious Crime (PCSC) information sharing arrangements.

 

Prime Minister Najib announced Malaysia’s commitment to implement its data sharing agreements with the United States and to phased enhancements of passenger screening at all points of entry, and the United States committed to actively work with Malaysia towards this end. The United States and Malaysia acknowledged that cyber and other crimes often help finance terrorist networks. The countries committed to utilize available multilateral instruments, including the Budapest Convention in order to strengthen domestic legislation and foster international cooperation in combating cybercrime.

 

The United States and Malaysia pledged to strengthen bilateral defense ties. The two leaders underscored the importance of expanding cooperation in priority areas, including maritime security, counterterrorism, and information sharing between our defense and security forces. They committed to pursue additional opportunities for joint exercises and training.

 

The leaders also underscored the importance of enhancing maritime domain awareness through the development of maritime capabilities such as surveillance, communications, and information-sharing, and expressed their intent to continue discussions on funding of assets through the most effective mechanisms for developing these capabilities in order to advance regional security. President Trump welcomed Malaysia’s intent to make an additional $60 million (USD) in defense procurements from the United States.

 

They discussed the need to end the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. Both leaders called for an end to the violence targeting civilian populations, and discussed the need for a strong international community response for the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been victimized and displaced by violence, including those who have arrived in Bangladesh. Both sides urged the Myanmar government to end the violence against innocents and ensure that humanitarian relief reaches victims immediately.

 

President Trump and Prime Minister Najib held a constructive discussion about the importance of good governance and the free flow of information to prosperity and a positive business environment. They also discussed the importance of protecting human rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The United States welcomed Malaysia’s commitment to increase prosecutions of human traffickers, as well as expedited assessment with the aim of increasing substantially the number of trafficking victims granted freedom of movement.

 

The two leaders welcomed continued strong people-to-people ties, especially Fulbright academic exchanges. They recognized the growing number of Malaysian undergraduate and graduate students studying in the United States, now numbering nearly eight thousand. They expressed anticipation for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding sustaining the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, one of the largest in the world, through 2020.

 

The two leaders discussed their commitment to further strengthening the Comprehensive Partnership to promote peace, stability, prosperity, and international consensus in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

 

PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE,

MALAYSIA

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It was Prime Minister Najib’s first official visit and meeting with an American President in the Oval Office and the meeting, attended also by Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman and United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted over an hour.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak in the traditional pose of leaders calling on United States President in the Oval Office of the White House

It is a very significant achievement for Malaysia as currently the 17th most important trading nation and aiming to be the 25th most wealthiest economy by 2025.

Of course, Malaysia’s role in regional and international geo political and diplomacy is gaining more prominence and that is in tandem of Malaysia’s open trade policies.

New Straits Times story:

United States President Donald Trump said it was “a great honour” to have Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the US and White House. (Bernama photo)

WASHINGTON DC: United States President Donald Trump said it was “a great honour” to have Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the US and White House.

In his remarks before the bilateral meeting yesterday at the White House’s Cabinet room, Trump personally told Najib that he was honoured to have the prime minister and the Malaysian delegate over in a historic meeting marking the two countries’ 60 years of bilateral ties.

“I just want to say it is an honour to have you here..It is an honour to have your delegation with us,” he said.

Trump, who again mentioned that it was “a great honour” to have Najib in the White House at the end of his remarks, thanked Malaysia for its investments in the US.

“Malaysia is a massive investor in terms of stocks and bonds and exchange…they (Malaysian investors) have to be very happy as we are hitting new highs almost on a weekly basis.

“And we are very proud of what has happened in our stock market since I became president.”

The meeting between the two leaders and delegates from both countries marked a huge milestone in bilateral ties.

Najib, who is on a three-day working visit here on Trump’s invitation, is only the second Asean leader to be personally invited by Trump to the White House.

It came as a clear recognition by the US, coming in the first year of Trump’s presidency.

Trump also praised Najib for Malaysia’s firm stance against terrorism.

“The prime minister has a major role in not allowing ISIS or Daesh as you call it and others to exist.

“He has been very very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter on that standpoint..and that is very important to the United States.”

Trump also praised Najib’s stand on North Korea, which he said was also in tandem with the US.

“He does not do business with North Korea any longer, and we find that to be very important.”

Najib arrived at the White House here at 11.45am on Tuesday (11.45pm Malaysian time) and was greeted by Trump at the West Wing awning.

The prime minister held a four-eyed meeting at the Oval Office before the delegation meeting between the two countries.

Apart from President Trump, the US was represented by among others, Vice-President Michael Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor Lieutenant-General H.R. McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Lakhdhir.

Accompanying Najib at the meeting were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, National Security Council Director-General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim, and Malaysia’s ambassador to the US, Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique.

The two leaders displayed warmth as they greeted each other on arrival.

Trump broke convention when he accompanied Najib to the door when leaving the White House.

Officials said Trump, who normally saw off guests at the main floor, remarked that Najib was “a friend”.

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The personal and cordial relationship between the two leaders now have been translated into improved official comprehensive relationship between Malaysia and United States.

President Trump’s economic policies have somewhat positively contributed to Malaysian investments and funds having portions of they portfolio is various US based capital and debt markets.

Employee Provident Fund Q1 announcement:

EPF Records RM11.79 Billion Income for Q1 2017

Significant improvement from market recovery

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 May 2017: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today reported a quarterly investment income of RM11.79  billion for the first quarter ending 31 March 2017 (Q1 2017), a year-on-year increase of 73.9 per cent from RM6.78 billion in Q1 2016.

Commenting on EPF’s Q1 2017 Investment performance, Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said, “Both the domestic and global markets improved significantly compared with the first quarter last year. The FBM KLCI grew by six (6) per cent, driven by the growth in the banking sector, while global indices improved by as much as 12 per cent, a striking difference from the market environment last year. The positive market condition was conducive for profit taking activities leading to higher gross investment income in Q1 2017 and also lower net impairment.”

In accordance with the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS 139), the EPF recorded lower net impairments from RM1.64 billion to RM775.92 million this year, a decrease of RM865.08 million, following the improvement in all major markets.

The value of EPF investment assets reached RM747.17 billion, a 2.20 per cent or RM16.06 billion increase from 31 December 2016. Out of the total investment asset, RM352.73 billion, or 47.2 per cent, were in Shariah-compliant investment while the balance were invested in non-Shariah assets.

“While we have had an encouraging first quarter, we remain cautious moving forward as recovery in commodity prices remains weak with continued currency volatility,” said Datuk Shahril.

In Q1 2017, Equities, which made up 41.76 per cent of the EPF’s total investment assets, contributed RM7.10 billion, representing 60.2 per cent of total investment income for the quarter. This was 178.6 per cent higher from the RM2.55 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2016. The recovery in banking sectors contributed to about 30 per cent of the trading and dividend income for the portfolio during the quarter.

“In addition to improvement in the domestic equity market, the global market also continued to provide opportunities for the EPF to realise its gains despite volatilities arising from the elections in eurozone countries, President Trump’s healthcare bill, the US interest rate hike and negotiations surrounding Brexit. These market moving factors were alleviated by the positive economic numbers, including the revised growth forecast for major economies.”

The EPF’s overseas investment accounted for 29 per cent of its total investment asset and contributed 37 per cent to the total investment income recorded in Q1 2017.

As at March 2017, a total of 49.08 per cent of EPF’s investment assets were in fixed income instruments, which continue to provide consistent and stable income. The first quarter saw fixed income investments recorded an income of RM4.07 billion, equivalent to 34.6 per cent of the quarterly investment income.

Income from Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) & Equivalent in Q1 2017 increased 3.67 per cent, or RM68.56 million, to RM1.94 billion from RM1.87 billion in Q1 2016. Loans and Bonds, meanwhile, generated an investment income of RM2.14 billion, compared with RM1.87 billion in Q1 2016.

Investments in Money Market Instruments and Real Estates & Infrastructure each represented 5.04 per cent and 4.11 per cent of the total investment assets, and contributed investment income of RM372.79 million and RM246.27 million respectively in Q1 2017.

Following the commencement of Simpanan Shariah on 1 January 2017, a total of RM952.10 million out of the total gross investment income of RM11.79 billion was generated for Simpanan Shariah while RM10.84 billion for Simpanan Konvensional. Simpanan Shariah derives its income solely from its portion of the Shariah assets while the income for Simpanan Konvensional is generated by its share of Shariah and also non-Shariah assets.

Datuk Shahril said the performance of both Simpanan Shariah and Simpanan Konvensional would depend on market performance, thus making short-term differences between the two inevitable. In the long run, the performance of the two should be similar following similar strategies implemented for both accounts.

He added that the EPF remains focused on delivering real dividend target of at least two (2) per cent above inflation over a three-year rolling period for both Simpanan Shariah and Simpanan Konvensional.
About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is Malaysia’s premier retirement savings fund, providing basic financial security for retirement. The EPF is committed to preserving and growing the savings of its members in accordance with best practices in investment and corporate governance.  It will always be guided by prudence in its investment decisions.

As a customer-focused organisation, the EPF delivers efficient and reliable services for the convenience of its members and registered employers.

The EPF continues to play a catalytic role in the nation’s economic growth, consistent with its position as a leading savings institution in Malaysia.

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This is landmark visit indeed and a very apt to renew and take the friendship and bi-lateral relationship fostered sixty years ago when then Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman represented Malaysia as the first Ambassador to the United States.

*Updated 1400hrs

Remarks by Foreign Minister Dato’ Srì Anifah Aman on the success of Prime Minister Najib’s visit and meeting with President Donald Trump:

Saudara2 sekalian,
No words can describe how proud the privileged few of us who were with YAB PM during the working visit to the President of the USA.

I accompanied him to visits with Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers but this could be the peak.
If only rakyat Malaysia can see how he handled the visit and the quality of the exchanges that earned the respect of the US President and his delegations,make you proud as a Malaysian.

All the top 3 of the US Govt and senior Cabinet members were there. Seldom happened or none so far. President Trump was not what you read in the paper, he was truly the President of the most powerful nation and our PM has earned his respect and that of his colleagues.

The President seeked our PM’s views on the regional and international issues and at times instructed his senior cabinet members to do as what the Malaysian had done. I thanked PM for the honour and privilege to be there with him on that historical day. You can see the body language of the President Cabinet and their attentiveness that this was a meeting of substance.

Truly I can’t find enough words to describe how proud I was. And you all should too because our Prime Minister is special!

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Published in: on September 14, 2017 at 03:00  Comments (1)