By Monsi A. Serrano
Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino recently hosted a media appreciation luncheon at the Embassy of Malaysia in Makati City and expressing his excitement for deeper cooperation with Manila.
Highlighting the importance of media, the ambassador emphasized its role as a vital conduit between people and the country, as well as its ability to shape opinions and disseminate information. He acknowledged the sacrifices made by media personalities, recognizing their immeasurable contributions.
“I always value my relationship with the media together with the embassy because I always feel that media is a very important conduit between people and the country… I have a wide range of friends in the media,” said Amb. Castelino.
“I think your role, especially in the Philippines is very important because you communicate, you educate and disseminate at the same time you also create opinions of the countries and of course, around the world,” he added.
He also underscored the strong cultural and traditional similarities between Malaysia and the Philippines. He explained that Malaysia’s foreign policies are influenced by its strategic location in Southeast Asia, its status as a trading nation, and its unique demographic composition.
Amb. Castelino mused at how bilateral relations between Malaysia and the Philippines date back to 1959, covering various fields such as education, culture, defense, health, trade, and agriculture.
He said Malaysia considers the Philippines an important trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $8 billion, making it Malaysia’s largest trading partner globally and the fifth largest among ASEAN countries.
Amb. Castelino expressed confidence in the strong foundation of the existing relationship, paving the way for more active and meaningful economic collaborations. He emphasized the potential for closer cooperation in the Halal industry and digital economy, which would bring significant benefits to both nations.
The luncheon served as an opportunity for the media to gain insight into the embassy’s plans and foster closer ties between Malaysia and the Philippines in various sectors.
The event also reflected the new ambassador to Manila’s commitment to nurturing relationships with the media and his enthusiasm for further collaboration between the two countries.