Obama’s visit to Malaysia is a buzz!
The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama is now here in Malaysia (my country) for a three-days visit from 26 to 28 April 2014. He is originally scheduled to visit the country back in October last year but couldn’t do so due to their partial government shutdown crisis at the time. This time around, there isn’t anything that blocks the way and here we welcome him to our country. His visit marks the second time a U.S. President came to Malaysia, as the first one was back in 1966 (48 years ago) when President Lyndon B. Johnson set his foot here too.
Why is it that his arrival here is much more exciting, happening and making a lot more buzz than the other presidents, prime ministers or even kings? Well, no doubt United States is a superpower, and having the leader of a superpower here is something we find of utmost importance especially of guaranteeing his safety and smooth tour in Malaysia. Just days before his arrival, I have read news of the level of security provided for him, particularly from his official presidential plane, Air Force One and his presidential limousine called The Beast and all the checks by U.S. Secret Service. Interesting facts: There is a medical operating room in the Air Force One. And if you think that it is not enough, there is also a blood bank in The Beast containing the similar blood type with the President in case anything emergency happens that requires it.
Barack Obama arrived here yesterday’s afternoon to a grand welcome after having been to Japan and South Korea. Later on, he would goes to Philippines, which would be his last stop of the four-nations Asia tour. He went to the Parliament House on yesterday’s evening for an official welcoming ceremony, and attended a state banquet at National Palace with the King and Queen, the Prime Minister and the main cabinet ministers. Today, he will be heading to Putrajaya, administrative capital of Malaysia to hold talks with Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak before going to nearby Cyberjaya for the launch of the Malaysia Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MAGIC). The US President will also hold a town hall session with young leaders from South East Asia and to visit National Mosque this afternoon.
He will leaves to Philippines tomorrow. Before he is leaving, I think there is a bit of ample time for him to truly discover the wonder of Malaysia. Maybe he can drop by at some famous tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur like Chinatown, Batu Caves, KLCC, etc or even try our local delicacies like nasi lemak, cendol, char kuey teow, or even durian if he can stand the smell. Too bad that he only has three days here (actually only one and a half). If not, he could explore more on what we can offer to the current 44th US President.
His visit here is not only to improve bilateral ties between the two nations but also as an approach to further engage with Muslim world and these priorities reflect the American leader’s multicultural heritage, which has given him a wider view of the world. Obama’s efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples has won him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize too. His landmark visit here to Malaysia marks a new chapter in the history of both nations. Welcome once again, Mr. Barack Obama.
(Information and images in this post are from The Star Online)