Parliamentary visit deepens ties
A delegation of Malaysian MPs and Senators has made an official visit to Australia, reinforcing the strong partnership between the two national parliaments.
Led by Deputy President of the Senate, Datuk Doris S. Brodie, the delegation met with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and House of Representatives Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, as well as members of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and the Australia-Malaysia Parliamentary Friendship Group. Discussion focused on the strong cooperation between the two countries, including on the search for MH370, as well as opportunities for new links such as the New Colombo Plan.
The delegation included several members of Malaysia’s Public Accounts Committee, who met with members of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, the Australian National Audit Office, and The Treasury. Points of discussion included the relationship between the JCPAA and Parliament, and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in Australia.
The delegation also travelled to Sydney, where they were hosted at the University of Sydney by the newly-formed Sydney Southeast Asia Centre.
“We were very grateful for the invitation. The meetings and the dialogue we have had have been very, very interesting - it has been very constructive,” said Datuk Brodie.
“The bilateral ties between Australia and Malaysia are not just government-to-government, or country to country, but between parliaments. It’s been very powerful,” she said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott used Question Time to acknowledge the Malaysian delegation. “Let me say thank you to our friends from Malaysia, and let me say how pleased I have been to work with the Malaysian government on the hunt for flight MH370, a search that goes on and a search which this government will continue to prosecute,” he said.
The delegation also thanked Australia for the support provided for the MH370 search. “The saying is ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’, and that is what Australia is to us,” said Datuk Brodie.
Malaysian delegation meets Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP