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54th "Hari Merdeka" Celebrated in Seoul
Envoy Dato Ramlan Ibrahim Hosts Dinner at Embassy
Malaysian Ambassador to Seoul Dato Ramlan Ibrahim (3rd from left) poses with his guests at a reception held at his embassy in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2011 on the occasion of its 54th Independence Day or "Hari Merdeka."

Malaysian Ambassador to Seoul Dato Ramlan Ibrahim and his spouse Datin Hafipah Mohd. Shah hosted a reception at their residence of Malaysia House in Hannam-dong in Seoul's Yongsan-gu area on Sept. 15, 2011 on the occasion of its 54th National Day or "Hari Merdeka (Independence Day)."

"Hari Merdeka" (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule. Malaysia gained its independence from Britain on August 31, 1957.

The dinner reception attracted some 200 high-profile guests including scores of top foreign envoys and local politicians.

Chairman Chung Sang-Rin (center) of Council of Rose of Sharon poses with EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski (right), and with Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša Jr.

Among the diplomatic members were Singaporean Ambassador Peter Tan Hai Chuan (陈海泉), Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša Jr., and EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski, Greek Ambassador Petros Avgerinos, Bangladesh Ambassador Shahidul Islam, Kenyan Ambassador Ngovi Kitau, and Afghan Ambassador Mohammad Yunes Farman.

Ambassador Dato Ramlan Ibrahim of Malaysia delivered a lengthy and carefully-worded welcome speech in front of the guests.

Malaysian Ambassador to Seoul Dato Ramlan Ibrahim (3rd from left) poses with Kenyan Ambassador Ngovi Kitau (to his right) and with other guests at his embassy in Seoul.

"We strive to create a common space and prosperity transforming the nation into a great attraction,” the Malaysian envoy said in his speech. "South Korea continues to be a model for Malaysia"

Malaysia's international policy toward the Korean Peninsula is to maintain the equidistance diplomacy on the surface.

But, in actuality, Malaysia has been bolstering its ties with South Korea in political, economic, and cultural areas, according to the diplomatic sources.

Mr. Rashid Mohd Zain (center), trade commissioner of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), poses with other guests. To his right is his daughter Ms. Firah Rashid.

They say that Malaysia has been supportive of South Korea's peace policy for the Korean Peninsula, particularly its policy of reforming the North Korea.

The bilateral diplomatic ties were established between South Korea and Malaysia in February 1960.

South Korea set up its permanent embassy in Kuala Lumpur in May 1962. Two years later Malaysia opened its embassy in Seoul in April.

Malaysia established its diplomatic ties with North Korea only in June 1973.

54th "Hari Merdeka" Celebrated in Seoul

Bilateral trade volume reached 12.4 billion US dollars in 2006. South Korea recorded 2.2 billion US dollars of trade deficit with Malaysia.

South Korea exported to Malaysia computers, semi-conductors, wireless communications devices, vehicles, and ships.

South Korea's import items included petrolium, timber, and liquafied natural gas (LNG).

To South Korea, Malaysia is the second largest trade partner among the ASEAN (Southeast Asian Nations).

On February 23, 2010 the Korean government printed 1.5 million copies of the commomerative postage to mark the 50th anniversary years of diplomatic relations between Seoul and Kuala Lumpur.

Presently, some 15,000 South Koreans are living in Malaysia.

For details or inquires please contact the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul at 02-795-9203.

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