KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay today met Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Putrajaya to discuss, among others, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its impact on lives and businesses.
The British High Commission in Malaysia, in a statement to Bernama, said broader bilateral cooperation was also covered in the meeting especially on ways Britain and Malaysia could work together to recover from the crisis.
“We are following closely the development with air travel as well as the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia.
“As international travel becomes increasingly challenging, we are helping British travellers to return to the United Kingdom, by providing relevant information to help them make decisions on travel plans,” said Hay in the statement after the meeting at Muhyiddin’s office.
Hay said the high commission is working with airlines to ensure that there are commercial options for British travellers to fly home.
The High Commissioner also raised the issue of foreign nationals, including British, with work permit or long-term social visit pass who are currently outside Malaysia and have been denied entry into Malaysia during the MCO period.
On the business side, Hay highlighted concerns from foreign companies and manufacturers currently operating under time or workforce caps, and said the restrictions may impact on their ability to fulfil orders.
“This is particularly critical for those in the supply chain for essential medical equipment,” he added.
On the UK-Malaysia bilateral relationship, the envoy said: “We hope to build on the strength of the UK-Malaysia relationship, and look forward to setting up the Joint Committee on Trade and Investment Cooperation with the Malaysian government to strengthen our bilateral trade and investment’.”
“We are also interested to pursue a Dialogue Partner status with ASEAN to take forward our partnership across a whole range of areas not least trade and investment and security,” he added.
During the meeting, Hay said Muhyiddin enquired about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s health.
“I was pleased that Muhyiddin kindly sent his well wishes to Prime Minister Johnson. I am also heartened by messages of goodwill and support from senior Malaysian politicians and business leaders.
“These are testaments of the strong bilateral ties and the deep people to people relationship between both countries,” he said.
According to the statement, some 360,000 British tourists visited Malaysia last year and the number has declined since the global pandemic started.
There are between 8,000 to 10,000 British nationals currently residing in Malaysia.