BISHKEK, May 16 ― The Kyrgyz Republic today expressed its desire for Malaysia to appoint an adviser to the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said this request was made by his Kyrgyz counterpart, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Akylbek Zhaparov, at a meeting at the Ala Archa State Residence here yesterday afternoon.

“He (Akylbek Zhaparov) requested that if possible, we appoint someone who could serve as an adviser to the government (Kyrgyz Republic). This shows their level of respect and recognition for the Malaysian government.

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“... meaning, when they want to negotiate issues such as privatisation, hydro projects, highways, or gold mining, for example, they would ask us to give advice and share our experiences to assist,” he said.

Anwar told the Malaysian media this at a press conference in conjunction with his two-day official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. Anwar began his visit today at the invitation of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said this request of the Kyrgyz Republic would be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting.

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The prime minister views the potential appointment of the adviser as not only part of the conduct of bilateral relations but also providing opportunities for investors from Malaysia as there are numerous areas of cooperation for the two countries to explore.

Anwar said among the sectors in Malaysia that attracted attention are halal and Lembaga Tabung Haji, with the Kyrgyz Republic keen to learn in detail about haj management and the administrative management of Tabung Haji.

He said this also shows that the Kyrgyz Republic, a Muslim-majority country that was formerly part of the Soviet Union, highly respects Malaysia as an Islamic country and is interested in following some of the implementation methods and reforms undertaken by Malaysia.

Touching on tourism, the Prime Minister said this sector has great potential to be strengthened between Malaysia and the Kyrgyz Republic, as both countries have unique attractions of their own.

“The Kyrgyz Republic has mountainous areas, while its people are very interested in forest and beach areas in our country,” he said.

Apart from this, Anwar said the Kyrgyz Republic has also asked for more opportunities for its students to study in Malaysia.

Asked about his official visit to Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after this, Anwar said the Central Asian region has great potential for cooperation to be explored.

“There is strategic importance here. Firstly, it enjoys the advantage of being close to Russia and China. Their (Central Asian countries) intelligence and perspectives help us as a developing country,” he said.

Commenting on cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic, which began in 1992, Anwar said it is time for this cooperation to be strengthened as it benefits the country. ― Bernama