US envoy to Malaysia looks forward to Chinese New Year
United States ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir who has been here for more than one year sees many common grounds between Malaysia and US. She enjoys living in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.
he diplomat from New York who has a Chinese name Lei Hehua feels for the hospitality and friendliness of Malaysians. She attempts to blend in local festivals. A classic example is that she gives her official residence a new look in conjunction with Chinese New Year by pasting a pair of couplets on the door, decorate her home with red lanterns and looks forward to house visits during Chinese New Year.
“As an American, I am comfortable living in Malaysia. Malaysians are proud of their history and culture. They love to share. When they find out others who are keen to know more, they welcome you in open arms.”Despite not living in Malaysia for a long time, Lakhdhir has visited major places of worships. She just joined Thaipusam activities and climbed hundreds of stairs at Batu Caves. The parade was an eye-opening for her.
She was impressed by the Thean Hou Temple built by the Hainanese Association. She saw the local culture of tossing yeesang as fun when she was given a lunch reception by the committee members of the temple.“Tossing Yeesang is unique. Last year when I encountered Yee Sang for the first time, no one told me what to do. The Perak Sultan told me to toss the yee sang higher. I thought it would be terrible if the yee sang hit someone. But after some training, I have mastered the secrets. “
Lakhdhir visited Sin Chew Daily for the first time and described US and Malaysia ties as `scaling new heights’.A diplomat with 27 years of experience, she said Malaysia is an important partner of US in this region. Two countries have broad collaboration in military, combat human trafficking, education, anti-terrorism, cross border cybercrimes and others. US corporations also have significant investments in Malaysia. Ties between Malaysia and US would be more stable in future.
After US secretary of state Rex W. Tillerson visited Malaysia last year, Lakhdhir predicted more senior officers of US government would be visiting Malaysia this year and next year. She said apart from North Korean issue, The Trump government is also concerned with countries in Southeast Asia.