by Malaysian Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak
2015 is indeed a special year as it marked an important milestone in the relations between Malaysia and Australia. It is the 60th Anniversary of Australia's presence in Malaysia. I am thus honoured and welcome this publication commemorating this milestone.
Though many might not be fully aware, relations between Malaysia and Australia have stretched way back even before Malaysia achieved her independence in 1957. Since then the relations between our two countries have been making great strides and further cemented through the various mutually beneficial endeavours and programmes, including trade, investment, education, defence and security.
Our people-to-people links are broad and deep, fortified by active exchanges of visits at various level, as well as cultural exchange programmes. Education has been and will continue to feature in our bilateral relations especially since Australia continues to be one of the most popular destinations for Malaysian students to pursue their tertiary education.
Defence cooperation is another important pillar in our bilateral relations. Our cooperation has evolved from the Five Power Defence Arrangements and is further strengthened through the Malaysia- Australia Joint Defence Program. Malaysia appreciates the excellent defence relationship with Australia and the close interaction between our forces.
Trade relations, meanwhile, continue to grow and Australia remains a key economic partner for Malaysia. Australia has consistently been Malaysia's top ten trading partner throughout all these years.
I wish to take this opportunity to express Malaysia's appreciation for the efforts and contributions made by the Government of Australia in the MH370 and MH17 tragedies respectively. Australia has indeed proven itself to be an invaluable friend when it offered assistance and cooperation without hesitation or delay.
Finally, my heartiest congratulations on the special publication entitled 60 Years: Australia in Malaysia.