New US Ambassador to Malaysia calls on DPM Zahid

New US Ambassador to Malaysia calls on DPM Zahid
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (R) welcoming the newly appointed US Ambassador to Malaysia ambassador, Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir (R) at his office in Putrajaya. - Astro AWANI pic / SHAHIR OMAR
PUTRAJAYA: The new United States Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir today called on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at his office here.

They discussed, among others, Malaysia's initiative in addressing human trafficking, developments in Malaysia's participation in the United States Visa Waiver Programme, threats to regional and global security and migration issues, according to a statement released by Ahmad Zahid.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said in the statement that Malaysia had taken drastic measures to increase the number of convictions for human trafficking, with 403 cases brought to court last year compared to 91 last year and seven in 2015.
He said one important measure was the setting up of a Special Task Force to address the crime with the cooperation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Bangkok as well as with the United States.

Ahmad Zahid said the diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the United States, established in 1957, covered cooperation in various fields including trade, investment, defence, security, education, science and technology, and agriculture.

"Bilateral relations which were strengthened during the previous US administration under President Barack Obama should be enhanced under the new administration of President Donald Trump who took office on Jan 20," he said.

In the field of security, Ahmad Zahid said, the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding to address cross-border crimes, which included the Memorandum on Immigration Cooperation.

Besides, he said, two agreements had also been signed, on exchange of information on the list of terrorists and suspected terrorists and on combating serious crimes.

Lakhdhir, who assumed her post as ambassador to Malaysia on Jan 5, takes over from Joseph Yun whose tour of duty ended in October last year.