Malaysian Ambassador H.E. Alauddin Mohammad Nor


Malaysia and Kuwait enjoy strong and cordial relations on multiple levels and in various fields, and during my tenure in Kuwait I hope to further develop the existing excellent bilateral ties, as well as explore opportunities for growth in new domains, said Malaysian Ambassador H.E. Alauddin Mohammad Nor, in one of the first exclusive interviews he accorded to the media.

Ambassador Nor, who presented his credentials to His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah on 30 May, began the interview with Al Jarida’s journalist Rabih Kallas by expressing his utmost gratitude to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and the Crown Prince of Kuwait for the opportunity to present his credentials. He added, “ I will do my level best to strengthen and improve the existing good relations between our two countries.”

Indicating that relations between Malaysia and Kuwait began much before diplomatic relations were officialized, the envoy explained: “To reflect back, it is worth noting that the foundation for our relations began in April 1965, when the King of Malaysia, His Majesty Syed Harun Putra Syed Hassan Jamalulail undertook a State Visit to Kuwait at the invitation of then Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.

“Our records also show that Kuwait is one of Malaysia’s oldest ties among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The Malaysian Embassy was opened in Kuwait in 1974, followed by the Kuwaiti Embassy in Malaysia in 1980. Although there have been exchange visits at the official and diplomatic levels in the past, I hope the number would increase in the years to come, particularly at the highest level, and between Malaysia-Kuwait business communities.

Turning to bilateral trade, the ambassador noted: “Bilateral relations are currently on a positive trajectory. and I am convinced that the current warm and close relations between Malaysia and Kuwait will provide a strong foundation for more business and social interactions at all levels from both sides.

“I also firmly believe that there are several areas with potential prospects that both countries can explore further so as to enhance cooperation at various levels. Additionally, in light of Kuwait Vision 2035, Malaysia hopes to forge greater collaboration, particularly in food security, cyber security and healthcare. In addition, Malaysia also offers several other emerging and potential economic sectors such as smart manufacturing, halal industry, food processing, Islamic banking, and finance that could be attractive to Kuwaiti investments.”

Pointing to his country’s official trade figures, the ambassador added: “In 2022, total trade between Malaysia and Kuwait reached more than USD 838 million, with Malaysian exports to Kuwait accounting for around $189 million and imports from Kuwait totaling $650 million. These figures were a 213 percent increase over the $392 million achieved in 2021.”

Giving a breakup of exports and imports the envoy stated: “Among the main products that Malaysia exports to Kuwait are palm oil and palm oil based agriculture products; processed food; metal products; electrical and electronic items; rubber products; and wood items. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s main exports to Malaysia were crude petroleum, chemicals and chemical products; and petroleum products.”

Asked about investments and scope for Kuwaiti investments in Malaysia, Ambassador Nor explained: “ In terms of investments, in Kuwait, currently there are a number of Malaysian companies working with their local partners in the field of energy, water desalination and hazardous waste management services, oil and gas and support services.

“While in Malaysia, there are several Kuwaiti companies working with their local partners in the field of oil and gas, banking, logistics and equity. All of these existing and ongoing partnerships, worth billions of dollars in investments, are only a tip of the potential investments that remain to be realized, and I believe there is still much that we can do to improve the status quo.”

A professional diplomat who began his career as an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer at his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002, Ambassador Nor has over the years served at the ministry in various capacities, including as Undersecretary of West Asia Division. He has also held roles at the Inspectorate Division, ASEAN Division, and Human Resource Management Division.

His services abroad have taken the ambassador to several world capitals, including at Malaysia’s diplomatic missions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Prior to his appointment to Kuwait, the ambassador was the Consul General of Malaysia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, since 2019.

Revealing his happiness to be in Kuwait with his family and to meet with people and families in this country, the ambassador said: “I am very fortunate to have arrived in Kuwait just before Ramadan, because I got to experience the well-known Kuwaiti hospitality and generosity that is heightened during the holy month.

“Also throughout the month of Ramadan, I had the opportunity to engage in various Kuwaiti traditions, such as visiting ‘diwaniyas’ and participating in ‘ghabga’ events. As a diplomat, I was very fortunate to be part of this tradition as I got to meet a lot of people and made many friends in a very short time at these social events. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all my Kuwaiti friends who invited me to share in their traditions and enjoy their hospitality.”

The ambassador, who holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Universiti Putra Malaysia, is keen to develop relations between the two countries on the people-to-people level through enhancing cultural and social ties. He elaborated on this by stating: “Apart from trade and investment, I also would like to promote people-to-people contact between the two countries, and I believe tourism could be a good way to help me achieve this end.

“Since 1 April 2022, the Government of Malaysia has fully reopened its borders for the first time after nearly two years of COVID-19 pandemic-related closures. As a result, in 2022, Malaysia recorded more than 10 million tourist arrivals, surpassing its initial target of 9.2 million. and providing over RM28 billion (USD 6 billion) in tourist receipts.”

Regarding visas to Malaysia, the ambassador explained: “Kuwaitis enjoy a Visa On Arrival facility for a maximum of three months stay in Malaysia. Other nationals that are required to have visas can apply through the Embassy by presenting the required documents, which include the passport of the traveler, confirmation of return flight ticket, confirmation of booking of accommodation, and a token visa fee of approximately KD1.500.”

In conclusion, the ambassador expressed his profound appreciation to the leadership, the government and the people of Kuwait for the continued goodwill and support extended to Malaysia, and for hosting the Malaysian community in Kuwait.

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