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Apabila Amerika puji Malaysia negara Islam yang baik..

Malaysia Stands Out Among Muslim-Majority Countries, US Praises

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The United States Tuesday praised Malaysia as its success story in the Muslim world demonstrates clearly the capacity for Islam to resume the leadership role it once played among the world's civilisations.

Speaking at an intellectual discourse, US ambassador to Malaysia Christopher J. LaFleur said Malaysia was clearly a success story in Southeast Asia, and also a success story in the Muslim world.

He said the country's economic and social achievements and its tradition of religious pluralism stood out among Muslim-majority countries in the world.

"I believe that the Malaysian example demonstrates clearly the capacity for Islam to assume once again the leadership role it played among the world's civilisations."

The US ambassador was speaking at the "The US and Malaysia in 2007: Focusing on Our Political-Economic-Commercial Relations" at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. The event was organised by UPM's Faculty of Human Ecology and attended by students and academicians.

Tracing back Washington-Kuala Lumpur long relationship, LaFleur said that US supported Malaysia's independence from Britain some 50 years ago and was one of the first to recognise the young nation at that time and also supported Malaysia in the Confrontation with Indonesia.

Malaysia too, he said, had backed the US in the Vietnam War and sent military personnel there to assist the US during the Cold War period.

"I believe this shows that even in the earliest years of Malaysia's existence as a nation, we shared a strong common interest in peace and stability in this region."

LaFleur said the ties between the US and Malaysia were based on a variety of common interests -- political, defence and security, in the fight against terrorism and in the economic, cultural and educational fields.

"And where we do have common interests, it's not a one-way thing favouring either side but a strong, mutually beneficial relationship that profits both sides," he added.

The U.S. has large direct investments in Malaysia and in 2004, it invested US$8.7 billion and currently about 150 U.S. firms are doing business in Malaysia including Intel, Dell, Mattel and Western Digital.

LaFleur stressed that the strong common economic ties could become even stronger with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which both were currently negotiating.

Later speaking to Bernama, LaFleur said that America-Malaysia relationships had matured a lot compared to at the beginning of establishing diplomatic ties.

"We have a very good bilateral relations...and our leaders in fact get together more often since the current Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) and our President (George W.Bush) took office.

"Obviously, we don't agree on everything and we have frank dialogue...we respect very much what the Prime Minister (Abdullah) is attempting to do in encouraging the economic and social development in the Islamic world.

And, we also respect the fact that Malaysia represents a very important role model in practising tolerance and respect for diversity. That's an example I think many other countries might benefit," he said.

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