By Nur Ashikin Abdul Aziz
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 -- Outgoing Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Malaysia, Cuthbert Zhakata, said the biggest lesson he learned from his nine years’ posting here is the harmonious coexistence of Malaysians of different religions and ethnicities.
“I wish Malaysia's racial harmony can be maintained. The biggest lesson in Malaysia is the people living with different ethnicities...(and) that is something (where) Malaysia has a big, big plus,” he told Bernama at his farewell luncheon hosted by all African Ambassadors and High Commissioners at the Namibian High Commissioner's Residence in Titiwangsa, here, recently.
The career diplomat, who left Malaysia over the weekend, said that he would leave the country with a fond memory of the friendly locals and their love for food.
"Of course Malaysia is all about ‘makan-makan’ (eating)...I've tried all of them...’Ikan bakar’, ‘nasi kukus’, ‘nasi beriani’, (and) ‘hokkien mee’…," said Zhakata, who is retiring after 38 years of service.
On a personal note, Zhakata said his most memorable experience here was the day he presented his credentials to the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Zhakata added that relations between Malaysia and Zimbabwe have always been cordial and excellent, especially with the former's support towards Zimbabwe in many international fora.
"Malaysia has always been there for us, and at the same time, they always managed to keep training our people through MTCP (Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme). We have very good relations with Malaysia," he said.
In June, Zhakata led other ambassadors and high commissioners from African countries in a roundtable dialogue with International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking as well as other heads and senior officials of related agencies such as Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE).