Former Foreign Ministry Sec-Gen Rastam Mohd Isa conferred Japanese prestigious award
KUALA LUMPUR,. Former secretary-general of the Foreign Ministry Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa, was conferred with Japan’s prestigious award in recognition of his contribution in strengthening Malaysia-Japan bilateral ties.
Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Takahashi Katsuhiko said Rastam was bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star award for his significant role in expanding economic relations between the two countries through the exchange of the official note of the “Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement”.
“This EPA agreement has further stimulated the economy in both countries by liberalising and facilitating trade in goods and services as well as investment between the two countries, thus improving the business environment, and increasing investment opportunities,” he said during the conferment ceremony at his official residence on Tuesday.
The ambassador noted that in 2007, Rastam also arranged a bilateral summit between the then prime minister of Malaysia Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Shinzo Abe in Japan, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Japan-Malaysia diplomatic relations.
“This meeting led to the first official visit of the then Prime Minister Abe to Malaysia and thanks to the effort by Tan Sri (Rastam), the two countries successfully announced the joint statement titled ‘Everlasting Friendship and Far-reaching Partnership: Towards a Common Future’,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rastam was moved by the recognition from the Japanese Government and pleased that he was able to contribute to the deepening of Malaysia-Japan relations during his tenure at the Foreign Ministry and ISIS.
He opined that bilateral ties between the two countries have flourished over the years through the “Look East Policy” which he said should be further strengthened.
“There’s still a lot that we can learn from Japan, as well as other countries around Japan. The contribution that the policy has made to the development of the country (Malaysia) I think is quite tremendous,” he said.