By Voon Miaw Ping
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Upon assuming his role as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Malaysia in February this year, Francis N. Muhoro has made it his aim to strengthen Malaysia-Kenya bilateral ties and see it grow to a whole new level.
“Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi relations have always been cordial. But I see that there are a lot of potentials between both countries that can be explored further. And I hope my coming here can help to further improve the ties.
“I need to cover a lot of ground; and in fact, I have already started to do a lot of engagements with the local communities and the Kenyan communities in Malaysia,” he said in an interview with Bernama International News Service.
Malaysia and Kenya established diplomatic ties in 1965. In 1997, Nairobi set up its High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Kuala Lumpur reciprocated by opening up a High Commission in Nairobi in Sept 2005.
Muhoro said Kenya is hoping to work closely with Malaysia in areas such as construction, healthcare, food security and manufacturing, adding that these sectors are also in line with the Kenyan government’s development agenda to drive the Republic’s economy.
As such, he said the High Commission here is keen to tap on Malaysia’s expertise in these fields, especially on the building of affordable homes and the provision of healthcare services.
“Our government aims to build 500,000 affordable homes for the people in the next five to 10 years; thus, in this sector, we want to explore with Malaysian builders on how we can use building technology to build quality affordable homes for our people,” he said.
On the healthcare sector, he said Kenya is eager to tap on Malaysia’s experience in the management of good, cost-effective public healthcare system for the people.
“Other fields that we also focus on is education, as there is a lot of interest in Kenya that looks to Malaysia as a destination for our people to further their studies,” Muhoro added.
Meanwhile, Muhoro said he also hopes to see more interest from Malaysian investors in seeking opportunities in Kenya.
On another note, Muhoro said Kenya is also keen to work with Malaysian law enforcement agencies on combating transnational organised crimes.
“Kenya wants to partner with Malaysia in this area and see how we, together, can make our border safe,” he said when met at the Republic’s Madaraka Day’s celebration here, recently.
Muhoro added that there has been no significant collaboration between Malaysia and Kenya in this field so far, except through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) where Kenyan policemen had previously been sent for training in Malaysia.
Madaraka Day, celebrated annually on June 1, commemorates the day Kenya attained self-internal rule from the British in 1963. It later gained full independence on Dec 12 in the same year.
Some 300 Kenyan citizens in Kuala Lumpur attended the celebration, here.