Last updated Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:09am

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) takes a self-portrait with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the sidelines of the the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, November 15, 2013. — Picture from Lee’s TwitterSingapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) takes a self-portrait with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the sidelines of the the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, November 15, 2013. — Picture from Lee’s TwitterDhaka, Nov 17 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will begin his three-day visit to Bangladesh beginning today to further enhance relations between the two countries.

It is Najib’s first official visit to Bangladesh, at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, when they met in New York recently.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, will take the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with Sheikh Hasina to improve two-way ties between both countries.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Norlin Othman said the prime minister’s visit would be meaningful because apart from the political and economic relations, which had long existed between both countries, Malaysia was among the first countries to recognise Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.

She said Sheikh Hasina and Bangladeshi senior ministers will receive the Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and a 62-member delegation which would include Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Malaysia’s Special Envoy to South Asia Tan Sri S. Samy Vellu.

On the second day, Najib is scheduled to open the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Memorial Specialised Hospital and Nursing College in Gazipur which is built by a foundation owned by Sheikh Hasina’s family and named after the Bangladesh prime minister’s mother. It will be managed by Malaysia’s KPJ Healthcare Bhd.

“Najib and Sheikh Hasina will also witness the handing over of the hospital’s operations to KPJ Healthcare,” Norlin told a press conference here today.

She said the Prime Minister would also call on Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid and the two leaders were expected to discuss several matters, including Bangladesh nationals working in Malaysia.

There are currently more than 320,000 Bangladeshis working in several sectors in Malaysia.

Since 2010, Bangladesh nationals working in Malaysia had sent home RM3 billion, the highest compared with workers from Indonesia (RM2.9 billion), Nepal (RM1.9 billion), India (RM625 million) and the Philippines (RM561 million).

Najib is also scheduled to visit the National Martyrs’ Monument at Savar and the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum during the duration of his visit. 

Meanwhile, Rosmah, in a separate programme, is scheduled to visit the Dhaka Community Hospital which would celebrate the eight anniversary of the Cleft Lip and Palate Project, a collaboration between the hospital and Mercy Malaysia.

The World Children Welfare Fund, under the PERMATA childhood education programme, donated RM103,000 last month to Mercy Malaysia for the Cleft Lip and Palate Project at the hospital.

Najib is expected to return home on Tuesday. — Bernama