KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong Ying Yen who was born in Malaysia will be making an official visit to Malaysia next Tuesday as part of her diplomatic tour of South-east Asia.
The 53-year-old openly gay Australian senator will begin her regional visit with Vietnam tomorrow and Malaysia on June 28.
Her visit is to reaffirm Australia's commitment as a strategic partner to the region and discuss economic recovery, climate action, education ties, and health security.
“My visit seeks to deepen these ties, building on our existing partnerships for the benefit of our countries and the region.
“It's important we work closely together to capitalise on shared economic opportunities, strengthen regional security, and address climate change,” she said in a statement today.
This will be Wong's second trip to South-east Asia since her appointment as Australia's foreign minister in May, following the Labour party’s win in the country's latest general election.
Wong's Malaysian itinerary this time will see her meeting her Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and International Trade and Investment Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Wong, born in Kota Kinabalu to an Australian mother and Malaysian father in 1968, is also looking forward to visiting her hometown on this trip.
“Having spent my early years in Kota Kinabalu, I look forward to the great honour of returning to the city as Australia's Foreign Minister,” she added.
Wong has held numerous government positions in Australia to where she migrated when she was eight years old.
She was previously Australia's climate change minister as well as its finance minister.
Wong is the first openly-gay female politician in Australia and is seen to have played a key role in legalising same-sex marriages there in 2017.