Your Excellency Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim; First Lady Dato’ Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail; Esteemed Ministers and officials of both the Philippines and Malaysia; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
It is my honor to welcome our esteemed visitors, led by His Excellency Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, to the Philippines, as we gather to celebrate the long-standing friendship between the countries of Malaysia and the Philippines.
The past few years have been difficult for us. Our nations and the global community were beset by a pandemic of unprecedented proportions. It challenged our national capabilities and our resolve.
And just as we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, more challenges awaited us by way of geopolitical upheavals, supply disruptions, and inflation.
And as we embark on this journey to reclaim the growth that we had lost to the pandemic, I am heartened by the visit of our friend Prime Minister Anwar.
This is not only because I am happy to see a friend, whom we have come to admire greatly. I view the Prime Minister's visit as a rekindling of an old friendship and old bond that took millennia to make, between neighbors and ASEAN founding members, whose people have interacted and traded for centuries before they even knew the concept
More importantly, I view this visit as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment to revitalize our bilateral relations. And before us lays the immense potential in the areas of trade and investment.
We, as pillars of ASEAN, also have the responsibility and the opportunity to strengthen our community, and work towards regional peace and prosperity.
Mr. Prime Minister, the Philippines and the Filipinos were there for you during some of your darkest days. Let me assure you now that this sincere and tested friendship has remained strong throughout the decades.
I further express my hope that this warm kinship between us as leaders will set the tone of the bilateral relations between our governments, countries, and peoples, in the years to come.
On behalf of our government and the Filipino people, I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for undertaking this official visit as the first Official Guest of my administration. Please enjoy the warm welcome and hospitality of the Filipino people during this brief visit of yours to Manila.
May I now invite everyone to join me in a toast, to:
· The continued success and prosperity
· The renewed friendship between
the Philippines and Malaysia; and
· The continued good health of His Excellency Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
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