Qatar, Malaysia seek to re-facilitate travel: Envoy

June 16, 2021

Doha: The Qatari and Malaysian governments are trying to find ways to re-faciliate travel between both countries, Qatari Ambassador to Malaysia H E Fahad Mohd Y. Kafoud has said. He was speaking at the Powertalk webinar series ‘365 Days Into the Pandemic’ organised by the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation recently.

The webinar which featured three Ambassadors in Malaysia also included Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia H E Oka Hiroshi and British High Commissioner to Malaysia H E Charles Hay.

Speaking during the event, Kafoud reiterated the growing bilateral relations between Qatar and Malaysia, especially in recent years which witnessed the mutual visits between officials of both countries. Malaysia has also been a long-time favourite travel destination among many Qataris.

Kafoud added that the governments of the two countries are now seeking to find ways to re-facilitate travel between Kuala Lumpur and Doha, especially for travellers who have received both doses of vaccination. The Qatari Ambassador also explained that Qatar Airways has transported millions of passengers who have been stranded since the beginning of the pandemic to their countries, and its flights to and from Kuala Lumpur continued despite the many challenges and continuous amendments to entry instructions for countries.

He added that Qatar has presented many initiatives to help those affected by the pandemic by delivering thousands of food baskets to those in need and providing more than 3,000 tablets for students who are geographically challenged.

Kafoud also affirmed Qatar’s determination to impress the world by hosting the 2022 World Cup, noting that the tournament’s organising committee is constantly following the continuous efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in light of Qatar’s concern for the safety and health of all who will attend this major global event.

During the webinar, which was moderated by Malaysian broadcast journalist Jessy Chahal, the officials also highlighted the importance of embracing the digital revolution amid the pandemic.

“Malaysia is a very important trading partner for the UK, being our second largest trading partner in Asean, after Singapore,” said Hay. He added that education is at the heart of the relationship between the UK and Malaysia. “UK universities have been coming up with huge efforts to try to promote the best possible quality of learning online and they found new and exciting ways of doing that. Some people actually prefer to have virtual experience on almost anything,” he added.

Japan and Malaysia are not new when it comes to collaborations for digital technologies. One such collaboration in digital field is smart city to support the Asian initiative for promoting the Smart Cities. On medical front, Japan and Malaysia are currently working on a Telemedicine system that can improve prognosis and reduce mortality rate for stroke patients by shortening time needed for the diagnosis and treatment by quickly transporting the high process image rates of the stroke patients. Hiroshi added that another ongoing project between the two governments is the submarine cable network project.

When asked about plans to open their borders, the panellists shared the same optimistic view and expressed their hope for more fluid vaccination programmes to take place globally.

WIEF Foundation and the State of Qatar are organising the World Islamic Economic Forum which will be held in Doha in October. The upcoming 14th WIEF is organised against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty bringing together governments, multilateral organisations, private sector, prominent individuals as well as media representatives to address issues pertaining to recovery plans for enduring prosperity.

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