News / Asia

Obama Makes Landmark Visit to Malaysia

President Barack Obama toasts Malaysia's King Abdul Halim of Kedah during a state dinner at Istana Negara Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Apr. 26, 2014. At left is Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and at right is Queen Haminah.
President Barack Obama toasts Malaysia's King Abdul Halim of Kedah during a state dinner at Istana Negara Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Apr. 26, 2014. At left is Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and at right is Queen Haminah.
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama has become the first U.S. president to visit Malaysia in nearly half a century. Obama on Saturday arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the third stop on an Asian tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region. 

President Barack Obama is the first American leader to set foot in Malaysia since President Lyndon Johnson came here in 1966.

With a red carpet, and an elaborate honor guard at a ceremony in central Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdul Halim and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak welcomed Mr. Obama on this two-day visit aimed at strengthening already robust trade and security ties.

Malaysia is predominantly Muslim and the national Mosque is on the president's itinerary as a gesture of good will.  

Obama arrived here from South Korea, where he offered reassurances to his allies as North Korea appears to prepare another nuclear test.  Before departing Seoul, the president spoke at Yongsan Garrison to some of the 28,000 troops the U.S. has stationed in South Korea.

Referring to North Korea, he said real strength lies not in military displays but in allowing democracy, free speech, and open markets that lift millions out of poverty.

“We don't use our military might to impose these things on others, but we will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life," he said.

The president gave his condolences to South Koreans following the loss of more than 300 people in the recent ferry disaster.

He comes to Malaysia as the country remains preoccupied with last month's mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 with 239 people aboard. At a state dinner Saturday, the Malaysian monarch thanked Obama for U.S. cooperation in the ongoing search for the missing plane.

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Comments
     
by: joe from: here
April 26, 2014 1:48 PM
Sure he is in Malaysia. It's 63% Muslim. Does this visit surprise anyone. I just surprised it wasn't made 5 years ago.

by: chester kendra from: canada
April 26, 2014 1:41 PM
funny how obama [hussien] shows up in malaysia after a hugely major event,mh370. is he there to seal the deal of malay subservience to this regime?

by: Karl Sice from: Singapore
April 26, 2014 12:55 PM
The Americans are meddling in the region again.

The US controlled media has been slamming Malaysia to death over the loss of one aircraft. Malaysia has a great safety record but they forget to ever report that. How many American planes have crashed - I've lost count as there have been so many! Does Malaysian news cause such criticism and cause such embarrassment when an American planes go down?

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