RIYADH: The Malaysian government has conferred a prestigious award, the Darjah Kebesaran Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM), on former Minister of Culture and Information Iyad A. Madani in recognition of his efforts to ensure solidarity of Muslim Ummah and for his outstanding contributions in promoting Saudi-Malaysian ties. The award is literally translated as “Knight of the Most Distinguished Order of Crown,” and carries the coveted title of “Tan Sri”.
On receiving the award yesterday, Madani told Arab News: “I am extremely honored to be conferred this prestigious award and title. This is a testimony to the strong working ties and friendship that we enjoy with Malaysia.” The award was presented to Madani in a brief, but glittering ceremony, organized at the Malaysian Ambassador Syed Omar Al-Saggaf’s official residence in Riyadh yesterday.
Senior officials, ambassadors from different countries besides academicians from King Saud University and Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, attended the event.
Madani, who served as Haj minister from 1999 to 2005, said that Saudi-Malaysian relations have been growing progressively, which is evident from several indicators. He said the number of Saudi visitors to Malaysia exceeds 70,000 annually.
In his award citation, Al-Saggaf said: “Madani brought drastic changes to the management of Haj with a far-sighted vision.”