Malaysian PM to pray at Chennai mosque; meets Guv, CM over business ties

Najib Tun Razak flew to this metropolis on Thursday as his first stop in India to begin a six-day official visit.

Chennai: Reflecting the close ties Malaysia enjoys with Tamil Nadu thanks to Tamils constituting a major proportion of the minority communities in the East Asian nation, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak flew to this metropolis on Thursday as his first stop in India to begin a six-day official visit.

The special aircraft carrying Mr Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor landed here at 1.50 pm and the visiting dignitaries drove to the luxury five-star hotel, ITC Grand Chola, where they were given a resplendent traditional red carpet welcome.

Mr Razak, will address a meeting organised by the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and interact with the Malaysian community, besides offering Friday prayers at the Anjuman mosque.

With Indians, a majority of them Tamils, constituting 6.7 per cent of Malaysia's population, Mr Najib's visit to Chennai even before flying to New Delhi reflects the importance that the Malaysian Government attaches to the ethnic and religious minority community.

On Thursday evening, Mr Najib and members of his high-power delegation including a few Tamil ministers drove to Raj Bhavan for a meeting with Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisami during which increasing the trade volume and business ties were discussed. After the meeting, Mr Rao hosted banquet in honour of the visiting Malaysian PM.

Mr Najib was accompanied by Special envoy on Infrastructure to India and South Asia, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Subramaniam, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, High Commissioner of Malaysia to India, Datuk Hidayat Abdul Hamid and Consul General Malaysia in Chennai Ahmad Fajarazam Abdul Hamid.

While staying in the Presidential suite of a luxury hotel in Chennai, the Malaysian Prime Minister announced that nine Malaysian citizens barred from leaving North Korea have now been allowed to return to Malaysia.

Before leaving Kuala Lumpur on Thursday morning, Mr Najib had assured his citizens that he would monitor the talks between the two countries and will update them “wherever he is in this “modern day.”

“They took off from Pyongyang today at 7.45 pm Malaysian time and would land in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow at around 5 am,” Mr Najib said, according to Bernama, Malaysia's official news agency.

The tension between Malaysia and North Korea arose in the wake of the murder of Kim Jong-nam, elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 13.

The diplomatic spat erupted after North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol made baseless allegations against Malaysia over the handling of the case, resulting in Malaysia declaring him persona non grata.

The ambassador left Kuala Lumpur on March 6. North Korea retaliated by expelling Malaysian Ambassador in Pyongyang. On March 7, North Korea prohibited Malaysians in that country from leaving North Korea and Malaysia also took similar action against North Koreans.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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