The highlight of my long career as a diplomat was to be able to spend the last three years of my service at my dream posting in Malaysia. When I arrived from Hong Kong in the summer of 2017, Malaysia was beginning to go through exciting times.
I was witness to the historic moment, when after GE14 in 2018, a new Government of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) emerged – a democratic breakthrough which saw six decades of BN rule come to an end. I will never forget this special day, 10 May 2018, coming into the Embassy, when I was surrounded by people who had nothing but exuberant hope for their country.
Never would I have thought that I would serve in this country during the time of three different governments, but that’s what happened when in March this year a new Prime Minister was sworn in and Perikatan Nasional took over.
Then, simultaneously, we faced another challenge, the Covid-19 crisis. I must commend the Government and the people of Malaysia on the handling of the situation. Thanks to all of you, who adhered strictly to the measures in the context of the Movement Control Order, the spread of the virus was quickly contained and we managed to avoid many more deaths. At no time has the well performing Malaysian health system been overburdened – quite similar to the development in Germany.
From the start, it was my aim to continue to strengthen the bilateral relations with the Malaysian Government and to promote Malaysia as the preferred investment location for German companies in Southeast Asia. And with Germany being the biggest trading partner in Europe and second biggest investor from Europe, we were able to consolidate our position.
It was a busy three years, filled with courtesy calls and engagements with Malaysian Government representatives, welcoming high-ranking German delegations to Malaysia, hosting and attending business networking events, roundtables and discussions.
My wife and I will always treasure the warmth and hospitality of our host country and its multi-cultural people. We were made to feel instantly welcome and it was easy to settle in. The memories of the all-year-round warm weather, the beautiful countryside, especially the many green golf courses, great food and entertainment, will stay with us for a long time.
After retiring from my position as Ambassador of Germany to Malaysia, we are now looking forward to dividing our time between Hamburg and our second home in Penang.
Selamat tinggal - Good bye
Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff