Sabah, New Zealand to improve ties

Posted on : 17-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and New Zealand are set to work on bilateral ties in education, culture, economy and tourism, among others.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan and New Zealand’s Minister for Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell said they would work together for the benefit of each other and the indigenous people in both countries.

Pairin, the Huguan Siou (paramount leader) of the KadazanDusun Murut community, said that through the bilateral ties, they could learn more about the development of indigenous people from the Maoris.

“I do hope that this relationship will continue as we want to renew some relationships that have been part of our history,” he said during a courtesy call by Flavell and his delegation from New Zealand. Also in attendance was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr John Subritzky.

Flavell in his speech said New Zealand’s dealing with Malaysia in terms of the Maori had been very minimal.

“We have the history of helping each other out in war. We try to work how we can work together and join up again,” he said, adding that Sabah and New Zealand could work together on the economic and cultural development of their indigenous people.

“It is our view that commerce and culture go together,” he said adding: “We also know how important tourism is to Sabah as it is to New Zealand,  so we can talk about what we may be able to do together,”  he said.

Prior to meeting Pairin, Flavell and his delegation also met with the New Zealand alumni and they had shared insights about Sabah and her people.

“A lot of it matches up with what we try to do as well. You can learn from our experience in sectors like tourism and agriculture and we also can learn from you,” he added.

On working together in the education sector, Subritzky said this was because there is a large number of Malaysian students in New Zealand and most of them are from Sabah and Sarawak.


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