KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — The relations between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia continues to increase in strength and depth through cooperation in all fields.
In an article made available to Bernama in conjunction with Saudi’s 91st National Day on Sept 23, the Media Affairs Department of Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Malaysia said that Saudi-Malaysia relations were distinguished by their historical depth based on common religious and cultural features.
“This relationship was also strengthened through the exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. The most prominent of these visits was the historic visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Malaysia in 2017,” it said.
The visit resulted in the signing of many agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries in all fields, including the partnership between Saudi Aramco Petroleum Company and Petroleum Nasional Berhad (Petronas) through the oil refinery project.
The partnership includes two joint ventures for the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project.
“The strategic alliance is a historic partnership between two of the world’s largest and most successful national oil companies, bringing together the resources, technologies, experience, expertise, and commercial presence,” the article pointed out.
These joint ventures allow the parties equal ownership and participation in the refinery, cracker and selected petrochemical facilities in RAPID, which is part of the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor.
The article further explained that through this collaboration, Saudi Aramco will supply 50 per cent of the refinery’s crude feedstock requirements with the option of increasing to 70 per cent. Meanwhile, natural gas, power and other utilities will be supplied by Petronas and its affiliates.
The parties will share the rights to offtake the production of the joint ventures on an equal basis. The refinery, which has 300,000 barrels of crude per day, will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, which meet Euro 5 fuel specifications. It will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemical complex, with a nameplate capacity of 3.3 million mt.
On high level visits, the article said that former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had visited the Kingdom in March 2021 which it said had taken Kuala Lumpur-Riyadh ties to new heights.
The visit produced several positive outcomes for Malaysia. The substantive matters achieved was signing a MoU to ease and simplify the pre-clearance process for Malaysian haj and Umrah pilgrims.
In this context, Malaysia was the first country listed for the ‘Mecca Road Service’ initiative, which will ease and simplify the pre-clearance process for Malaysian haj and Umrah pilgrims. Both countries also agreed to set up the Saudi-Malaysian Coordination Centre to pave the way for regular consultation and follow-up on matters of mutual interest and benefit.
Statistics show that the number of Malaysian pilgrims and Mu’tamir from 2015 to 2019 was 177,124 pilgrims, and some 1.2 million Mu’tamir respectively.
Touching on education, it said that the government of Saudi Arabia granted Malaysia 300 annual scholarships in Saudi higher education institutions.
The current number of Malaysian students in the Kingdom under the Saudi scholarship is 149 while there are more than 6,000 Saudi students in Malaysia from 2015 to 2021.
On the people-to-people ties, 121,444 tourists from Saudi Arabia visited Malaysia in 2019.