President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Friday congratulated Malaysia's perennial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after the latter was sworn in as prime minister in Kuala Lumpur.
Marcos is hoping that Anwar's leadership will bring stability not just in Malaysia but in the entire region.
"I would like to congratulate my good friend Anwar Ibrahim on his election as Prime Minister of Malaysia. I look forward to the stability that his leadership will provide Malaysia and the region," Marcos said in a statement.
"My personal and official congratulations!" he added.
In a phone call, Marcos told Anwar that the latter's premiership would make the ties between the two countries stronger.
"I was very happy to hear the news and I wanted to congratulate you immediately myself," Marcos said during the phone call.
"I am sure this will make Malaysia and the Philippines even closer because we will be in touch with another," he added.
Anwar said Malaysia wants the Philippines’ commitment to collaboration in different areas, including trade and investment, considering the two nations’ great tradition in the past.
Marcos said the strong partnership between the Philippines and Malaysia is important because of the problems that the two nations are facing.
"We have to really work together, otherwise, we will not be able to get over this crisis of inflation, of agricultural commodities, all of that. I saw your statement that the economy will be your first priority. And I found myself in the same position. So we can—I think we can help each other with Malaysia and the Philippines," he said.
Marcos also told the Malaysian leader that they have some things in common, including the fact that they both waited for a long time to get into the position.
In response, Anwar said his social media team learned from Marcos' expertise and strategy.
Anwar's election as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia after the nation's king, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, gave his consent to appoint him ended days of political impasse after inconclusive polls, reports said.
Anwar's Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition won the most seats, 82, on an anti-graft message -- but fell short of the required 112-seat majority. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ/VBL, GMA Integrated News