News Release

Malaysian King hopes to elevate PH-Malaysia ties to new heights, expand cooperation on agri, digital economy and Halal industry

Malaysia and the Philippines should level up their collaboration and partnership in new and emerging areas.

The King of Malaysia, His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah, made the pitch during a state banquet held in honor of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and the rest of the Philippine delegation to Malaysia, even recalling the fond memories he had with the Marcos family and friends during his visit in Manila.

“Malaysia and the Philippines have always shared close and long-standing relations,” the King said. “Our two countries share many commonalities and strong people-to-people ties. To this day, we have faced many common challenges but we have also achieved much more together, underpinned by shared interest and close cooperation across many areas. It is our fervent hope that the warm relationship will continue to blossom for the mutual benefit of our people and nations.”

The King said that Malaysia regards the Philippines as an important trading partner in the region. “Given our close proximity and active involvement in ASEAN, Malaysia regards the Philippines as an important partner. In 2022, the Philippines was Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner in the region. While Malaysia was the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner,” he said.

The Malaysian monarch said Marcos’ state visit “holds a very special significance, which strengthens the ties between our two great countries and also celebrates the long and deep-rooted friendship between our families. Our families are now graciously watching us as leaders of the countries.”

During his speech, the King made a special mention of former First Lady Imelda Marcos who he said, “shaped an exceptional leader through her son and grandson,” referring to the President and his son, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos.

“As we gather here, I feel overwhelming to think of our friendship of many years. One such channel through which we have bonded is the sport of polo, which better described as polo diplomacy,” he said.

“Touching a bit on polo diplomacy, I have fond memories of Manila,” the King added, recalling how they initiated the Pahang Cup at the Manila Polo Club as an annual event of polo diplomacy.

“Through spirited matches and shared passion, we have fostered camaraderie and understanding among our people,” the King said. “So, I hope this polo diplomacy or polo legacy will continue with our children.”

King Abdullah expressed his desire to level up the relations of Malaysia and the Philippines. “While we may have paused our polo matches for the time being, I’m optimistic that we will soon engage in a new endeavor together, perhaps we can now embark on the greens and fairways of golf,” he remarked.

“Mutual efforts and understanding are vital to further elevate our close relations and good cooperation to new heights. This can be achieved through active engagement across at all levels,” he said.

The King said regular exchanges of high-level visits among leaders and officials of both countries “will further contribute to the positive momentum in advancing our shared interest in addressing common challenges.”

“It is our hope that Malaysia and the Philippines can expand the collaboration and partnership in the new and emerging areas such as agriculture, digital economy and Halal food industry…progress can only be achieved and maintain through stability and prosperity in the region and the world as a whole,” the King said. PND