Nostalgic ‘homecoming’ for Aussie FM Penny
Published on: Sunday, June 26, 2022
By: Bernama
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Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong
Kuala Lumpur: Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong will be making an official visit to Malaysia on Tuesday.

The Malaysian-born said she is scheduled to meet her counterpart, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Defence Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, and International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Azmin Ali during her visit here.

“I will reaffirm our commitment as Comprehensive Strategic Partners and discuss economic recovery, climate action, education ties and health security,” she said in a statement posted on the Australian Foreign Ministry’s official website.

Wong, 54, said she will also travel to Sabah, where she hails from, adding that it is a region that has had longstanding ties to Australia.

“It is the region where I am from. Having spent my early years in Kota Kinabalu, I look forward to the great honour of returning to the city as Australia’s Foreign Minister,” she added.

Prior to visiting Malaysia, Wong will depart for Vietnam on Sunday, where she will be meeting President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and foreign minister Bùi Thanh.

She said the visit to both countries will be her second trip to Southeast Asia since becoming foreign minister a month ago, stressing that Australia’s future is tied to the future of Southeast Asia.

“It’s more than geography that binds us. We have genuine links in Vietnam and Malaysia – family, business, education and tourism.

“My visit seeks to deepen these ties, building on our existing partnerships for the benefit of our countries and the region.”

Wong was elected as a senator for South Australia in 2001 and went on to defend her seat in 2007, 2013 and 2016. This makes Wong the fourth-longest serving senator in Australia.

She also made history as the first woman to become the leader of the government in the Senate in 2013, and subsequently the leader of the opposition in the Senate after her party’s defeat in the 2013 elections. 

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