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"Hari Merdeka" Observed in Seoul
Envoy Astanah Abdul Aziz Hosts Dinner at Embassy
By Ted Gim
Staff Reporter
Malaysian Charge d'Affair Astanah Abdul Aziz (center) cuts the cake during the reception with many foreign ambassadors. To her right is South Korean Justice Minister Kim Kyung-Han.

Malaysian Charge d'Affair to Seoul Ms. Astanah Banu binti Shri Abdul Aziz hosted a reception at her residence of Malaysia House in Hannam-dong in Seoul's Yongsan-gu area on Aug. 29, 2008 on the occasion of its 51st National Day or "Hari Merdeka (Independence Day)."

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

Among them was South Korean Justice Minister Kim Kyung-Han. Minister Kim delivered congratulatory speech in front of the guests.

Malaysian Charge d'Affair Astanah Abdul Aziz (left) and her diplomatic staff greet guests at the entrance of Malaysia House.

In the speech Minister Kim mentioned that it was through the "Meredeka Cup" of football tournament that South Koreans came to know about Malaysia. "Meredeka Cup" was hugely popular among South Koreans and other Asians decades ago.

Being the oldest football tournament in Asia, Merdeka Tournament has been a football tournament held in honor of Malaysian National Day.

While lauding the development of bilateral ties between Malaysia and South Korea, He praised Malaysian player Lee Chong Wei for his earning silver medal in badminton from Beijing Olympics.

Mr. Mohd Amirul Rizal (far right), director of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) Korea, and other guests pose for the camera during Malaysian National Day reception.

In a speech Charge d'Affair Abdul Aziz said that the bilateral relations, which started from tourism area, should further be developed.

She stressed the need for expansion of the bilateral relations from tourism into other areas including social, cultural, and educational areas.

Ms. Abdul Aziz has been serving as charge d'affair since July of 2008 when former Amb. Dato' M. Santhananaban left Seoul for his country.

Vice Chairman Jon Kim (far left)of the Federation of Korea Tourism Association (FKTA), poses for camera during Malaysian National Day reception. Ms. Nor Hayati Zainuddin (3rd from left), deputy director of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board in Seoul, is also posing with her staff. Far left is Mr. Jay Joo, marketing manager of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board in Seoul.

"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.

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

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Ted Gim serves as staff reporter of The Seoul Times. He studied tourism management at a S. Korean university. He spent three years in England and Ireland, studying and living there. He studied tourism at an English college for two years. He covers tourism industry as well as diplomatic community in Seoul.






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