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Malaysia, 29-30 March 2012 - His Highness the Aga Khan undertook a two day visit to Malaysia in connection with ongoing collaboration between agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network and institutions in Malaysia.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Aga Khan met with former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and was received by Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr. Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali. The Aga Khan was also the guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Chairman of the Albukhary Foundation, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.
The Aga Khan presided at the inauguration at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia of the exhibition "Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts". Speaking at the occasion, Malaysia’s Culture Minister Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim observed that the collection was “of exquisite, exceptional historical importance and beauty, but perhaps still more important… that this collection reflects the Aga Khan’s keen interest in promoting further understanding and appreciation of the arts and cultures of the Islamic world.” The exhibition, he said, showed “the harmonious relationship between man and his environment, and presents architecture elements as tools for remembrance and civilizational existence.” Sharing his own conviction “that it is important that we illustrate this beauty in a way which the global community can understand,” the Aga Khan expressed admiration and gratitude to the Museum for “playing such a magnificent role” and for “illustrating the diversity, the history and the great traditions of our world”.
Since 2007, agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network have engaged in a number of collaborative exchanges with institutions in Malaysia, notably in the areas of urban revitalisation and conservation (with Think City Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, at the UNESCO heritage site in George Town, Penang), health service delivery and family medicine (with the Malaysian Ministry of Health and delegations from Central Asia and the Middle East), capacity building in the health sector Afghanistan (with the Malaysian Armed Forces Medical Contingent), architectural education, urban planning and higher education (with public and private institutions in Kuala Lumpur and in Selangor), early childhood development (with Yayasan Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur) and economic development (with the World Islamic Economic Forum).
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