Malaysia has verified licenses of 18 Pakistani pilots currently employed in the country and it has reinstated them with immediate effect. The pilots were suspended earlier this month after authorities in Pakistan discovered that up to a third of the country’s pilots may have falsified their qualifications. Last week, the Vietnamese government also verified licences of all Pakistani pilots.
As matter of dubious licenses escalates, Malaysia’s aviation regulator has temporarily suspended pilots holding Pakistani licences employed by domestic airlines. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia’s (CAAM) decision came after an evaluation of all foreign pilots in Malaysia. There are less than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country, employed with local operators, such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organisations.
Owing to the pandemic, Malaysia has decided to withdraw from this year’s Hajj, a ritual for which Muslims all over the world travel to Makkah. Malaysia’s Religious Affairs Minister stated it was not safe for the 31,600 pilgrims from Malaysia due to go this year to take part. Last week Indonesia also pulled out 200,000 of its pilgrims from the annual pilgrimage.
A special flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying 113 stranded Pakistani prisoners in Malaysia is scheduled to arrive today in Islamabad. The information was shared by Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, which stated that the “boarding process” to bring back the stranded Pakistani is “in process”. The government had brought back 300 Pakistanis from Malaysia in May 2019 as well.
High Commissioner of Malaysia, Ikram Muhammad Ibrahim, has said Malaysia and Pakistan have reached an understanding to issue visas on arrival to officials of both the countries. The purpose of this is to further boost bilateral relations and promote and intensify exchange of official delegations. From April 15, 2019, both countries have started visa-on-arrival for their respective diplomatic and official passport holders.
At the Future of Asia forum in Tokyo, Malaysia’s PM Mohamad Mahathir proposed that East Asia should consider a common regional trading currency based on gold to promote commerce and stability, and free the region from relying on dollar transactions. He emphasised that this currency would be used for regional trade only and would not replace domestic currencies.