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US Says It Will Continue To Strengthen Ties With Sarawak To Promote State Security and Prosperity | Malaysia

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Photo provided by the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur shows Uggah (top photo) in a chat with McFeeters (bottom photo, second from left) and his team during their meeting, organized as part of the visit virtual tour of the US Ambassador to Sarawak. – Borneo Post photo

KUCHING, October 2 – The United States will continue to work with its partners in Sarawak to promote state security and prosperity.

This was highlighted throughout the five-day virtual visit to Sarawak led by US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian D McFeeters, which concluded yesterday.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped the United States Embassy and Ambassador McFeeters from interacting in innovative ways with different parts of Malaysia.

“From September 27 to October 1, the Ambassador made a virtual visit to Sarawak through a series of meetings with representatives of the Sarawak government, businesses, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and alumni of Sarawak programs. exchange from the United States Embassy, ​​to discuss the United States and Sarawak. cooperation in public health, environment, digital inclusion, person-to-person exchanges, etc. The US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said in a press release on Friday.

The trip to Sarawak was McFeeters’ third virtual tour outside of the Klang Valley this year before that, he visited Penang in July and Sabah in August.

The US Ambassador had met with Sarawak Datuk Deputy Chief Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, as well as Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also the Minister of State in charge health issues.

“Ambassador McFeeters discussed the US government’s desire to strengthen the US-Sarawak public health partnership with the two leaders.

“Covid-19 remains the top priority for the United States, and the United States Embassy will continue to help Malaysia fight the pandemic.

“In addition to the million doses of Pfizer vaccine given to Malaysia in July, the US government has also provided RM 2 million for donated ambulances and other support to sections of the International Federation of the Red Cross and of the Red Crescent (IFRC) in Sabah and Sarawak. year.

“The United States will also continue to support and encourage research partnerships that help identify future zoonotic diseases and their threats, such as the one between Duke University and Sibu Hospital,” the US Embassy said. United.

He also said McFeeters shared with Uggah the US government’s focus on climate change and a desire to support Sarawak in pursuing its clean energy agenda.

The same topic was also discussed in sessions with the Managing Director of Petroleum Group Sarawak Bhd (Petros) Datuk Sauu Kakok, as well as the Managing Director of the Sarawak Biodiversity Center (SBC), Dr Charlie Yeo.

“Ambassador McFeeters underscored the US government’s interest in providing technical assistance and exchanging best practices in green energy technology, conservation and biotechnology to tackle the climate crisis.

“They discussed the potential for importing US technologies and products to support Malaysian companies in their clean energy program, and also explored ways to increase scientific and research cooperation with US companies and institutions. . “

In his meeting with State Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, McFeeters underscored the United States’ commitment to security cooperation in Sarawak and discussed common priorities in border security and human rights, as well as issues relating to the stateless community in Sarawak.

Additionally, the United States will remain committed to pursuing digital inclusion and youth empowerment with Sarawak, the embassy said.

He pointed out that since 2004, the Embassy has partnered with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak to host the “American Corner (AC) Sarawak” a platform for Sarawakans to visit and learn more about “United States”. And the partnership between the United States and Malaysia.

“American Corner Sarawak has been instrumental in organizing awareness campaigns and educational programs that encourage and support young designers and creators through access to technology and other resources.

“In the coming year, AC Sarawak will also focus on programs related to digital literacy and the digital economy,” the Embassy said, adding that McFeeters highlighted the value of this partnership during the his meeting with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak’s interim general manager, Arpah Adenan.

Additionally, the embassy said McFeeters had the opportunity to learn about Sarawak’s history and cultural diversity through a virtual tour with Sarawak alumni of the US government exchange programs.

“The interactive session also introduced the Ambassador to the unique local cuisine of Sarawak, and he appreciated the opportunity to ‘visit’ Sarawak and would look forward to visiting it in person as soon as conditions permit,” he said. -he adds.

The U.S. Embassy also spoke about the Southeast Asian Young Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) – a flagship program of the U.S. government to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. .

The initiative aimed to build the leadership capacities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an Asean community, through a variety of engagements. , including American educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding.

The Embassy said: “In October, the Embassy, ​​together with the Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka, will launch the ‘YSEALI Bootcamp 2021: Sparking Digital Action – Borneo Edition’.

“The program will include a series of webinars, a three-week training camp and a mentoring component, all designed to empower young people to advocate for social issues facing communities in Sabah and Sarawak, with an emphasis on the themes of diversity and inclusion, the environment, and digital equity.

“We are also planning to hold a YSEALI regional workshop on digital connectivity in Sarawak in 2022. Young leaders from Sarawak, Malaysia and others from ASEAN will meet to discuss how connectivity and access digital technology can transform communities and economies.

The U.S. Embassy also took advantage of the Ambassador’s visit to Sarawak to highlight the U.S. Government-funded Community Solutions Program (CSP).

“Applications are now open for the CSP, which offers leaders of the international community aged 25 to 38 a four-month professional development experience in the United States, including a 35-hour-per-week internship at a US host organization. and an internship of 10 hours per week. week of leadership development course.

“Notable alumni include social entrepreneurs Melisa Lin, Lilian Chen and Chan Zi Xing via Langit Collective, which promotes the unique and heirloom agricultural products of East Malaysian farmers.

“To apply, go to http://bit.ly/csp2022apply,” he added. – Borneo Post