RIYADH: Newly-appointed Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah aims to expand Saudi-Malysian relations into politics, education, and cultural exchange during his term in the Kingdom.
“The important thing, being (the) ambassador of Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, is to ensure our close relations politically between the leaders of the two countries, which is well connected through our presence here,” Abdullah told Arab News.
“My mission specifically is to ensure that it does not stop at the political level but will bring expansion of the relations into mostly economic participation and social-cultural relations,” he added.
The ambassador, who took on his new role as the 14th ambassador of Malaysia to the Kingdom in September 2022, said: “It is (an) extremely sweet experience that I have (had) since I came here.
“When you arrive in the land — we call it the Holy Land — from the start and so on you always feel that as a Muslim you are blessed to be here. So that’s the first feeling that I have,” said the envoy.
“I visited the two holy mosques just after I came. And of course, when I arrived in Riyadh, I was quite impressed with the development, with the lifestyle, and with the Saudi people in general,” he added.
He highlighted that one of his main missions is expanding cultural and economic cooperation as the cornerstone of his four-year mission.
Abdullah explained how he aims to further develop the cultural cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia through exchanging knowledge and spreading awareness of lifestyles and traditions.
“So I am looking at how, nowadays, people don’t look only at how you dance, but how you interact with each other, and (how) you live on a daily basis. So that culture and how we learn to get to each other’s culture, and that’s how Malaysia — I mean my — mission here will be shaped in the next three or four years,” he said.
“As we know that quite a number of Saudi students are now furthering their higher studies in Malaysia, at the same time, we are also promoting or exchanging Malaysian students to study in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
The ambassador traveled through Riyadh, to Masmak Fortress, Edge of the World, and Heritage Village in Shaqra.
“Saudi has numerous attractions, naturally and historically, to be offered to the world, so that impressed me a lot,” he said. He added he plans to visit AlUla, Tabuk, and Abha during his term, saying “Saudi is a big place and it will be quite a mesmerizing experience for me.
“I am confident that my presence here will be substantially good for both countries. And I will try my best to make sure our relations do not stay as it is now but even further strengthened and consolidated,” said the envoy.