India’s ties with once with close-ally – Malaysia, after deteriorating due to former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism over Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act have started to come back on track.
As per reports in HindustanTimes, the Indian envoy to Malaysia, Mridul Kumar met the new PM Muhyiddin Yassin and foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein – the first important liaison between the two sides since Mahathir’s exit.
Mridul Kumar also handed over a congratulatory letter from Indian PM Narendra Modi to foreign minister Yassin, according to a tweet from the Indian high commission in Kuala Lumpur. “Thanking PM Modi for the letter, Malaysian PM expressed keen desire to strengthen ties with India,” the tweet said.
Another tweet from Malaysia’s foreign ministry said during Kumar’s meeting with the foreign minister, both sides analysed bilateral relations and “discussed ways to further boost ties”.
Post the unwavering support to Pakistan on the FATF and rants over Kashmir and the Citizenship Act, New Delhi had curbed the import of palm oil from Malaysia nosediving the bilateral ties between two nations.
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, palm oil accounts for nearly two-thirds of India’s total edible oil imports. India buys more than nine million tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. New Delhi limited its import remarkably from Malaysia in recent months after attacks on its’s internal matters.
During his address to the United Nations General Assembly last year, the 94-year-old Mahathir had said that the Narendra Modi government had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir by abolishing Article 370 and Article 35A, a statement that infuriated New Delhi.
Mahathir had severely criticized India for its new citizenship amendment law, which was projected as a discriminatory law against the minority community, Muslims and has paved way for deadly protests and riots across the country.
Speaking from the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019, former Malaysian PM had questioned the “necessity” of the Citizenship Act and the intent of the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Experts talking to the EurAsian Times stated that Malaysia would have to choose between India and Pakistan. ‘We don’t expect the Malaysians to outrightly slam Pakistan and come in support of India, however, they need to un-bend toward Islamabad’.