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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	THE LEGEND HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	14/09/94 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE INAUGURAL DINNER OF THE 
			MALAYSIA-AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION 


 
   It is my  pleasure to be here tonight to  officiate  the
launching of The Malaysia-Australia Foundation (MAF).
2.  I am happy to note that the  MAF  is  committed  towards
promoting understanding between peoples of our  two  nations
Malaysia and Australia.   Varied and different as we may  be
in terms of  culture,    religion,  history, etc., there are
many common grounds upon  which relations of our two nations
have been firmly based.
3.   For instance,  Australia  was  closely associated  with
the  astablishment of the Federation of  Malaya.   Australia
also has had a  close  defence  relationship  with  Malaysia
since well before our independence.  Malaysia and  Australia
share  broadly common legislative,  legal and administrative
traditions, people-to-people  links  through  education  and
business.    Further,  both countries  are  members  of  the
Commonwealth and members  of  various  international  forums
sharing common aspiration and goals.
4.   In more recent years, Malaysia  and Australia have made
their mark  as  trading  partners.   Two-way  trade  between
Australia and Malaysia totalled RM4.74  billion in 1993,  an
increase of 23.7  percent over the previous year's figure of
RM2.7 billion.   Malaysia is now   Australia's third largest
ASEAN trading partner and the 11th  largest  export  market.
Australia's exports to Malaysia have grown at an annual rate
of over 12 percent in five years to 1993. Australian exports
to Malaysia in 1993 accelerated at  a strong 37.8 percent to
RM 2.87 billion while imports rose to RM1.89 billion, up 7.2
percent over the previous year.
5.    Australian investment in Malaysia has rapidly expanded
from RM156 million in 1989 to more  than  RM2.7  billion  in
1993.    Australia  ranked  as  the  4th largest investor in
Malaysia in 1993.
6.    I am pleased to note that  more  than  200  Australian
companies  have  already  established themselves in Malaysia
through joint-venture or subsidiary/branch operations.
7.    One of the most valuable and  enduring  bonds  between
Malaysia and Australia has been the links through education.
I understand that more than 100,000 Malaysians are alumni of
Australian  educational  institutions.    The  reservoir  of
goodwill and understanding  accumulated  through  Malaysians
living,  playing, studying and working in Australia with and
amongst Australians must be a wonderful ingredient to cement
the relations between Malaysia and Australia.
8.    Indeed, understanding comes from  regular  interaction
between  people at all levels.  Cultivating understanding at
an early age is most important.   Close  interaction  breaks
down  barriers and welds people together.  Close interaction
with an open mind helps to dispel misconceived notions,  and
shift   the  paradigm  towards  constructive  understanding.
Understanding builds friendship and contributes to peace and
harmony.
9.     With the globalisation  of  economies  and  the  move
towards  free  trade  and  open  regionalism,  at  least  by
countries in the Asia  Pacific  region,  by  bringing   down
trade  barriers,  great  opportunities await Malaysians and
Australians alike to work together in  partnership  for  our
mutual benefit.
10.      The   Malaysia-Australia  Foundation  has  a  Board
comprising of very  successful  and  eminent  men  from  the
government,  business and professional sectors who share one
common link  --  having  been  educated  in  Australia.    I
understand  the  Foundation  was  established  by  their own
desire  to  repay  in  a  small  way  the   generosity   and
hospitality of the Australian people.
11.    Malaysia  is  keen  to  be an international centre of
excellence  in  higher  education.    In  our  multi-ethnic,
multi-religious  and  multi-cultural  society,  we present a
unique environment in Asia which Australians  can  study  in
order  to understand Asia.  It may help your wish to be more
identified with Asia and Asians.  Australians are welcome to
do this  in  Malaysia.    Perhaps  it  can  be  a  Malaysian
contribution in return for the educational opportunities you
have  afforded  us.    I  am  sure  The  Malaysia- Australia
Foundation  and  its  counterpart   the   Australia-Malaysia
Society  will  play  significant  roles  to  bring  this  to
fruition.
12.  It gives me great pleasure  to  officially  launch  The
Malaysia-Australia  Foundation and wish the Foundation every
success.

 
 



 
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