DOHA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be conferred with two awards during his four-day official visit to Qatar starting Wednesday.
Malaysian Embassy Charge d’Affaires Mohamad Shahir Sabarudin said one of the awards is the Doha Forum Award, which will be presented to Dr Mahathir by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during the Doha Forum 2019 on Saturday.
He said the award will be given to Dr Mahathir as a recognition of his leadership, voices and initiatives in developing and promoting Malaysia at the international level.
“What makes us, as Malaysians, more proud is that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s name will be recorded as the first recipient of the Doha Forum Award,” he told the Malaysian media here on Tuesday ahead of Dr Mahathir’s visit to Qatar.
Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Doha Forum.
The other award to be conferred to Dr Mahathir is the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy by Qatar University on Friday.
On the official visit, Mohamad Shahir said it would be Dr Mahathir’s first visit to Qatar after being appointed as Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister in May last year.
The visit is on the invitation of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and both leaders are scheduled to convene a meeting to discuss the various efforts to strengthen the existing bilateral ties between Malaysia and Qatar which was established in 1974.
Qatar is Malaysia’s fifth trading partner in the Middle East. In 2018, the total trade between the two countries amounted to RM3.72 billion, up 29 per cent from 2017.
Mohamad Shahir said the trade and investment sectors between the two countries included palm oil, electrical and electronic products, machinery and equipment, metal production, wood products, processed foods, crude petroleum and chemical products.
On the second day of the visit, packed scheduled awaits the prime minister, including a meeting with captains of industry of Qatar, before being accorded an official welcoming ceremony at Amiri Diwan.
“After the ceremony, Dr Mahathir will pay a courtesy call on and hold a four-eye meeting with the Emir of Qatar,” he said.
Both leaders will also witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoU) before they proceed to a luncheon hosted by the Emir in honour of the visiting prime minister.
In the afternoon, Dr Mahathir is scheduled to meet with the Chairman of Qatar Foundation, Sheikha Moza Nasser Al Missned, during which they would discuss the various aspects of education as the foundation seeks to become an educational hub in the Middle East.
“The Qatar Foundation is also involved in sponsoring several Malaysian students currently pursuing tertiary education at Hamad Bin Khalifa University,” he said.
Mohamad Shahir said Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to attend a dinner with the Malaysian diaspora in Qatar on Thursday.
The prime minister is expected to arrive here at 9.30pm (local time) on Wednesday (2.30am on Thursday Malaysia time), he said.
Dr Mahathir will be accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
The prime minister is scheduled to conclude the visit and return to Malaysia at 12 noon on Saturday (5pm Malaysia time). - Bernama