LONDON, June 15 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived in London on Friday night for a three-day working visit to the United Kingdom, accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman and several senior officials had arrived earlier on Friday to accompany Dr Mahathir for the working visit.
According to Malaysian High Commission officials here, his first itinerary is a meeting with representatives of the United Kingdom and Eire (Ireland) Council (UKEC) for Malaysian Students on Saturday morning at the Malaysian High Commission here.
Later in the afternoon, the prime minister is to tour the new Al Bukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum in Bloomsbury, here.
The gallery established with the support of Malaysia’s Al Bukhary Foundation is helping British Museum redisplay its important collections of Islamic heritage, and reflect the connections between the cultures of Islam and the Ancient World on the one hand, and the cultures of the Mediterranean World and Europe on the other.
On Sunday, after attending the Hari Raya Open House function hosted by the Malaysian High Commission at Templewood Gardens in Camden, Dr Mahathir will head to the Cambridge University about 100 kilometres away to deliver a talk titled “Democracy in Malaysia and Southeast Asia” at the Cambridge Union.
In January this year, Dr Mahathir had delivered a compelling talk at the Oxford Union, the debating society whose members are primarily from the Oxford University, the oldest university in the English speaking world established in 1096.
The talk in Cambridge is expected to attract well-known UK personalities and academicians as well as students from higher learning institutions, said the High Commission officials.
As part of the Malaysian government’s continued effort in attracting foreign investment, on Monday the prime minister will be attending the session with investors and industry players in the UK organised by Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) and Maybank to explore areas of cooperation to strengthen bilateral trade.
Over the last 10 years, trade between Malaysia and the UK had recorded a growth rate of two per cent per annum with an annual bilateral trade ranging between RM12 billion and RM17 billion.
According to Malaysian High Commission officials, if time permits, Dr Mahathir might visit baby girl Ainul Mardhiah who successfully underwent a surgery at a private hospital here to remove extragonadal germ cell tumour covering her mouth, a rare type of cancer, before wrapping up his visit. — Bernama