19 April 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya paid a courtesy call on Malaysia's Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (Malaysian Parliament's Lower House) Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Pandikar Amin Mulia at the Parlimen (Parliament) Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on April 18.
Accompanying Ambassador Malaya during the call were Second Secretary Gonaranao Musor and Embassy Political Attache Atty. Norren Joy Calip.
Speaker Pandikar is scheduled to go on a working visit to the Philippines on April 24 to 27, which includes a confirmed meeting with Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on April 24.
The Ambassador informed the Speaker that the Vice President will likewise go on an official visit to Malaysia on May 27 to 29, which will be highlighted by his participation as Guest Speaker and Keynote Speaker during the Philippines-Malaysia Investment Partnership Forum on May 29.
Ambassador Malaya invited Speaker Pandikar to attend the forum, especially on the break-out session on Mindanao and related business interests which will be held at the afternoon of the forum.
Speaker Pandikar is specifically interested in palm oil investments in Mindanao, which he considers as a second home.
"This in an opportune time to further boost economic and business relations betweem the Philippines and Malaysia, as recent developments, including CIMB buying a 60 percent equity in the Bank of Commerce, Petron's acquisition of Esso Bhd. Malaysia and Maybank's reported interest in bidding for the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines, show a surging interest from companies in both countries to engage with each other," Ambassador Malaya told Speaker Pandikar.
The Speaker, meanwhile, added the need to maximize the role of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is developing not just the sub-region but bilateral economic relations as well as between the Philippines and Malaysia, which could be used to further economic relations between the two countries.
Before his current position, Speaker Pandikar was previously a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and had previously served as the Speaker of the Sabah State Assembly from 1986 to 1988.