Hence, new Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Shri T.S. Tirumurti, said he expects a lot more interaction between Malaysian and Indian businessmen in the next five years and those already having dealings to be re-engaging more on trade and investment.
Tirumurti said it was in line with this vision that the High Commission has also decided to facilitate easier travel between citizens of both nations by opening a Visa Collection Centre in Sabah.
"Because of biometrics, Malaysians intending to visit India would not have to go to the High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to get their papers done anymore which can be an inconvenience.
"We have done the same in Ipoh, Melaka and Penang and it has been well received.
Kuching and Kota Kinabalu are next on our list."
Tirumurti is here in conjunction with the repeat visit of its guided missile destroyer, INS Ranvijay, aimed at boosting bilateral ties and enhancing rapport between the navies of both nations.
"Regular port calls and interactions between our navies strengthen friendship," he said and thanked the Government for welcoming the vessel which would dock for three days at Sepanggar beginning today (Wednesday).
It last made a port of call in 2011.
"This is the first vessel to make a port call since I assumed my present post a few months ago and I intend to make many more visits to get to know the Sabah Indian community better," he said, and praised Sabah Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries President Viktor Suppiah for the role SICCI had been playing in this regard.
"I want to reach out to the Indian community here as well as other business and political leaders," said Tirumurti, who has been a diplomat for close to 30 years and whose last posting was as head of its United Nations division.
He hopes to bring a cultural troupe here, as well as hold workshops and demonstrations on Indian arts.
"Whether it is karnatic music or yoga, it all depends on what the people want.
I will try to fulfil it as best as I can," he said.