KUCHING, Jan 15 — Malaysia’s Ambassador-Designate to Japan, Datuk Kennedy Jawan says his task ahead is very important as it involves enhancing relations between Malaysia and Japan.
The former Foreign Ministry deputy secretary-general (Multilateral Affairs) said it was an honour for him as a Sarawakian, describing the appointment as a trust and confidence placed on him by the federal government.
“We are engaging in a lot of bilateral collaboration with the Japanese and it is a very strong tie between Malaysia and Japan,” he told Bernama after paying a courtesy call on Sarawak Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at Demak Jaya, here today.
Jawan said among new ventures involving Malaysians are collaboration in the halal industry in Japan, as earlier last year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the halal industry was signed between Malaysia and Japan.
“We could also look at on how we can provide our expertise because we are among the ones who are good in procedures related to the halal industry.
“If we look at Japan, big events are coming, such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and also Osaka Expo 2025. So those are the things that we will give support or providing our skills to that country,” said Jawan who will be leaving to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ at month’s end.
Elaborating, he said since the new Pakatan Harapan government took over Malaysia after the general election in May last year, there had been renewed interest, in terms of investment from the Japanese side.
“We can expect more Japanese investors to come and look at Malaysia again,” said the the 57-year-old Sibu-born diplomat.
Jawan, who received his early education at the Methodist Secondary School, Sibu, previously served as Assistant Secretary (Americas) from 1989 until 1992.
He later returned to Malaysia and served as Principal Assistant Secretary (South Asia) from 1999 until 2002.
He had also served as counsellor at the Embassy of Malaysia in the United States from 2002 until 2005, Principal Assistant Secretary (East Asia) from 2005 until 2007 and Undersecretary of Finance and Development Division from 2007 until 2008.
Later, he was appointed Malaysia’s High Commissioner to South Africa from 2008 until 2014, Ambassador to Spain from 2014 until 2016, and Undersecretary of Americas Division in early 2017.
Meanwhile, during the same courtesy call, Taib received another Sarawakian, Ismail Salam,51, who has been appointed as High Commissioner-Designate of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam.
He started his service as Administrative and Diplomatic Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 and was the Undersecretary of Europe Division since January 2017 prior to his current appointment.
Ismail had also served as Principal Assistant Secretary (Southeast Asia and South Pacific) from 2004 until 2009, Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Malaysia in Austria from 2010 until 2012, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Kenya from 2012 until 2017 and Undersecretary of Consular Division in mid-2017. — Bernama