(Muawad Rashid-Neimat alNaiem - Photo: Alsir Mukhtar) - Malaysia is known for its diverse, multicultural society and its incredible economic growth
. The Southeast Asian country only started its rapid economic development in the 1990s and has become a global player. A major goal for its government is to achieve the status of a developed nation by 2020.
Malaysia Embassy in Khartoum is one of 83 foreign representations in Sudan and one of 80 representations in Khartoum. Malaysia celebrated Malaysia day which was 16th September 1963.
Sudan Vision Managing Editor Muawad Mustafa Rashid, and Neimat AlNaiem Senior reporter had talked with the Malaysian Ambassador in Khartoum, H.E. Mustafa Hj Mansour.
He highlighted the historical background of forming of Malaysia, and the deep-rooted bilateral relations between Sudan and Malaysia.
Q: How long have you been in Sudan, and what emprise when you first came?
A: You are welcome, Yes, I was being Namibia, and then I came to Sudan in January 2015, so I have been here for two years or more something like. My surprise is very small, before I came to Sudan, before four years when I was in Namibia; it looks like the same as far the weather, the desert, the climate. So I wasn’t supersized in Sudan, for the majority in Sudan are Muslims, I said thanks for Allah. Sudan is a rich country, there is lots of water in Sudan, the River Nile as the longest river in addition to other rivers and water resources, but there aren’t enough trees in Sudan. Sudan has great potentials and resources and has more to do with these rich resources.
Q: Malaysia celebrates two days, the national day and Malaysia day, your comment?
A: Yes, we have two days to celebrate in Malaysia the first is the Independence of Malaysia from the British colonization on 31st August 1957 and the formation of the Federation of Malaya consisted of 14 countries that joined us were Singapore, Sebah, Which later became Malaysia of today on 16th September 1963 where we celebrate Malaysia National Day on 16th every year.
Q: Your Excellency Ambassador Mansur, we would like to stand on your professional background before you joined the diplomatic Corp?
A: I was did my study on Science , I graduated from Faculty of Science as major in Ecology , because it is important , I believe in importance of trees, for me one leaf is a friend and important , and I still fond of it, I finished my study in 1982, but till now I'm still learning studying the leaf, I always talk about the green. We plant trees everywhere in Malaysia everybody has to plant a tree. Then I joined the Foreign Ministry in 1986, since then, I feel doing that gave me a lot , because you see things in different perspective, the other students, but may be in a different perspective, so as diplomat since 2005, I enjoy working in this field . I have served my country in Bangladesh, Brazil, Kosovo,Namibia, and now in Sudan .
Q: In your career in Sudan, what assignment did you find it more challenging as an Ambassador?
A: You see, you never be in Malaysia, OK, in Malaysia you can drive and you can easily go anywhere, we haven't any problem to go any, but the situation different here, in Sudan you have to get permit to anywhere you want to go, I have been to Darfur last year to UNAMID in al Fashir, then I have been also to Nyala. As an invitation from the governor of South where we met the governor of South Darfur, the dream became true. It is something successful to me, that I have been to Darfur after so for long time, for the authorities prevented me, I have been waiting for so long because at that time Darfur had been remote long time, then the dream became true. After that I have visited Kassala state in the East of Sudan, the permit was being so easy, and I think it is very easy in compare with that of Darfur, I have visited Kosti in the White Nile state, El-Obeid in North Kordofan, then Dongla in the Northern state, Atbara in the River Nile state, Port Sudan in the Red Sea state.
Q: That means you have visited most parts of Sudan?
A: Yes , I have visited most parts of Sudan, but for me Darfur is not finished yet , I went to al Fashir the states of Darfur, that I have not visited , so the placing is important but the going there is more important, the challenge is how to go there , when I was in Nayala , the situation is different, no security attached with me, behind by car , I went to the Palace of the Sultan, I have visited the IDPs camps, the refugees, so that most interesting of Sudan is the permission to go .
Q: Have you visited any tourist or archeological sites in Sudan?
A: Yes, I have visited Dinder National Park; I have never found any restrictions, no problem. I stopped at Wad Medani, we took some photos. I think that the desert in Sudan is amazing.
Q: Your Excellency, Ambassador Mustafa, How could you see the Sudanese relations as diplomat?
A: Oh, yes, the bilateral relations between Sudan and Malaysia are strong ,deep-rooted, distinguished and are developing. These relations are more developed retards to business and investment as a promising sector; we take as an example PETRONAS as pioneering company working in the field of Oil in Sudan, which has its tangible role in exploitation and production of oil in Sudan. We expect two more Malaysian companies to come to invest in Sudan.
Q: How could you see tourism in Sudan, Malaysia has a long experience in this field, your comment?
A: As said before Sudan has great potentials and rich resources, but we call for more development in Tourism in Sudan for its real role in Economy. I have visited some tourist site and attractions which are excited and amazed me , they are safety and secured areas that I have seen. Sudan has a lot to do develop tourism, and adopted more advance technology to see the beauty of Sudan, and the river in particular from the Air ,not just in take off or and to landing, but enter a new techniques such as using the Pallone’s to see the beauty of the Nile and even the desert, attract foreign companies to invest in Tourism, we expect two Malaysian companies, one of them will invest in tourism. I think Sudan is promising country in different fields due to its huge and great multiple potentials and resources.
Q : Any comment or a message you like to convey through Sudan Vision ?
A: Again I thank you a lot, and I would to call on Malaysian companies to come and invest in Sudan.
Ambassdador Mustafa Hj Mansor was born in 1958, a year after the Independence of Malaysia and the formation of the Federation of Malaya on 31st August 1957. He graduated in 1982 in Science Faculty as Ecology major and still fond of Ecology. Then he later joined the diplomatic service. In 1986 he joined Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has served his country in Bangladesh, Brazil, Kosovo, Namibia, and now in Sudan.