Saturday July 3, 2004

Malaysia to help Saudis develop smart city

BY NICK LEONG

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will help Saudi Arabia to develop its own intelligent city, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
He said the Saudi Arabian government was impressed with Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor and wanted to learn from its experience.
“They want to have specific co-operation with us, with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), and Malaysian IT (information technology) consultants,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang Jaya on his return from a three-day visit to the Middle East kingdom yesterday, Abdullah said the MDC had signed an agreement with a company in Medina to assist them in setting up an electronic or e-government.
WELCOME BACK: Abdullah being welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang Jaya Friday.- Bernamapic
“It is a vision of the governor of Medina,” he said.
Abdullah said his trip had paved the way for better bilateral ties, particularly in areas like commerce and education.
He said there would be more Malaysian companies involved in the construction sector in Saudi Arabia.
On a separate matter, Abdullah said Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur shared the same stand on Iraq and Palestine.
He said he hoped the situation in Iraq would be under control and stabilised to allow elections to be held early next year.
“That is important because then they (Iraqis) will be able to choose their own government,” he said.
Abdullah said Saudi Arabia and Malaysia also hoped the Palestine road map would be rekindled to facilitate the formation of a Palestinian government by 2005.
“There are problems (in implementing the road map) but they must continue with the discussions,” he said.
On Wednesday, Abdullah officially opened the RM20mil Wisma Tabung Haji in Jeddah.
The opening was held after a four-year delay, reports ZULKIFLY MOHAMAD.
Abdullah said the opening ceremony was one of the milestone achievements of Tabung Haji which had grown by leaps and bounds since its inception more than 30 years ago.
He said Tabung Haji had proven to be an important institution for Muslims in Malaysia and its system of managing pilgrims had been adopted by other Muslim countries.
The Prime Minister also went to Mecca to perform the umrah and visited Medina.


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