US Ambassador-designate no stranger to Malaysia

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – “Hello, my name is Brian McFeeters (picture) and I am the new United States (US) Ambassador to Malaysia,” said the US Ambassador-designate to Malaysia in fluent Malay in the 2-minute introduction video uploaded by the US Embassy here.

His fluency in the Malay language is a clear testament that McFeeters is no stranger to the country and the region, having spent half of his 30-year Foreign Service career working in Southeast Asia including as the Political Counsellor of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2009 to 2011.

The career diplomat is elated to return to Malaysia with his wife Melanie and daughter Sara after leaving the country a decade ago.

On what can be expected from McFeeters and his team at the embassy, he said: “In essence, strengthen connections between the two countries. We promote economic partnerships, build strong security ties, and advance people-to-people connections, particularly among young people from both countries”.

“To paraphrase US President Joe Biden, we are stronger when we work together. We can’t do it alone”, he added.

McFeeters also appreciates Malaysia as an important partner of the US and leading member of ASEAN.

He is also committed to working with the Malaysian government and healthcare workers in doing whatever possible to persevere and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are among the things that will be looked into by the embassy team. Nonetheless, the US Embassy will not be able to achieve anything without you. Please reach out to us with your ideas and proposals,” said the diplomat before wrapping up the video clip by wishing “Till we meet again” in Malay.

McFeeters, who replaced his predecessor Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, arrived here on the evening of Feb 26 with his wife and daughter.

He previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Counselor to the Secretary of State, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in Washington.

He also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of US Mission Indonesia, and as Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Maritime Southeast Asia.

Besides English and Bahasa Malaysia, he also speaks Indonesian, French, Spanish, and German.

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