PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak oversaw the signing of four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the Kingdom and Malaysia at Seri Perdana, the prime minister’s official residence, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
The first MoU relating to cooperation in the trade and investment field was signed by Minister of State and Cabinet Member Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Malaysian Minister of Commerce and Industry Mustapa Mohamed.
The second MoU for cooperation in the field of labor and human resources was signed by Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali Al-Ghafis and Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Richard Riot Jaem.
The third one relating to cooperation in the scientific and education field was signed by Al-Ghafis and Malaysian Minister of Higher Education Idris Jusoh.
The fourth MoU relating to cooperation between the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and National News Agency of Malaysia (Bernama) was signed by SPA President Abdullah Al-Hussein and Bernama Director General Zu Al-Kifel Saleh.
The Kingdom and Malaysia also agreed to form a joint working committee to review the skills required by both countries in an exchange of experts initiative, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.
The Saudi government will increase the number of scholarships for Malaysian students to study in the Kingdom next year, the Head of the Cultural Mission at the Saudi Embassy in Malaysia, Dr Zayed Al-Harithi, was quoted as saying by Bernama.
He said there are currently more than 100 Malaysian students studying in the Kingdom.
He said the scholarship covers studies at diploma, bachelor, master and PhD levels, for all programs, except medicine.
Benefits for selected students include SR1,700 and SR1,800 for Bachelor of Arts and Graduate nominees respectively. They will also receive monthly allowances, free housing and full board, medical insurance and possibility of obtaining visa for the dependents of high achievers.
King Salman has described the Saudi-Malaysian relations as being at “an all-time high”, Razak said.
He said this was conveyed by the King during their meeting at Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s official residence here.
He said King Salman had used the term “highest-ever or best-ever relations” to relate to the long-established ties between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Razak said that King Salman responded positively to a request to have the annual quota of Haj pilgrims from Malaysia raised to 30,000.
The prime minister said that during the talks between the delegations of the two countries, King Salman said that his government will give an in-depth consideration to the request.
Construction and halal products, as well as services, are among the potential sectors for Malaysian businesses in Saudi Arabia.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia could now hope to export not just more halal goods but also expertise in the construction and property development and know-how in manufacturing and oil and gas services to Saudi Arabia.
“There are also opportunities in healthcare and education and for sub-sectors — processed food, palm oil, furniture, electrical and electronics,” he said.