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KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is ready to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) following the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the Government was aiming for a high quality FTA with Europe and hoped to conclude the negotiations in the near future.

“Malaysia has received investments from almost every EU economy and European countries continue to have a strong interest in Malaysia.

“We want to continue promoting Malaysia as a destination for investors,” he said in his speech at a public forum to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the EU here yesterday.

Mustapa said Malaysia enjoyed close ties with the EU and shared a relationship of equal respect for one another.

Last year, the EU was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner behind China and Singapore with total trade worth over €$34bil (RM163.1bil).

The EU mainly imported machinery and appliances from Malaysia and exported mostly electrical equipment and machinery.

The EU, a political and economic union of 28 member states, marked the 60th anniversary of the

BANGKOK - A Thai woman who alleged that she was raped by a Malaysian Immigration officer in Malacca has told the Thai Embassy in Malaysia that the incident did not happen.

Thailand's Foreign Ministry said the 32-year-old woman denied that the sexual assault had taken place.

“The Royal Thai Embassy was informed by the woman that there was no sexual assault and no closed-door questioning in a separate room, as recorded in the report,” the ministry said in a statement.

Officers from the embassy

BUTTERWORTH - Heavy rain caused flash floods in several areas around Butterworth on Monday, leaving vehicles stranded along the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) near here.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that heavy rain which started at 3pm caused both Sungai Pertama and Sungai Perai to overflow and resulted in flash floods in several areas.

"About 50 houses were flooded between 0.3 meters to 0.6 metres but there was no evacuation as flood

KUALA LUMPUR - After a gruelling eight months, the two Malaysians who were rescued from Abu Sayyaf have finally been reunited with their families.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who hosted their return at his residence in Jalan Duta said no ransom was paid to get them back.

"We are grateful that they are back after eight months and have safely returned to their families.

"They explained the sufferings they went through and I heard the pressure the families had to undergo during

KOTA KINABALU - An overwhelming military presence in the rugged hilly jungle around a Jolo village forced notorious Abu Sayyaf gunmen to abandon the last three of their five Malaysian hostages.

Intelligence sources believe that the gunmen, led by Abu Rami @Muammar Askali decided to leave the three sailors when the military started closing in on them.

The group has been terrorising the southern Philippines with murders, kidnaps and beheadings including that of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then

PETALING JAYA - International media leaders have penned a letter to United States President Donald Trump signalling their deep concern with the US administration’s persistent attacks on the press.

The letter, sent to the US administration on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and World Editors Forum (WEF) and signed by more than 40 media chiefs from across the globe, including Star Media Group Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer

KUALA LUMPUR - Threats of being shot or beheaded were among the torture endured by the two Malaysians who were held captive by Abu Sayyaf for eight months.

Tayudin Anjut,45, one of the two men rescued by the military on Thursday explained that he and Abd Rahim Summas,62, did not even know that they were going to be rescued.

"It happened suddenly and we don't know how it happened. We thought we were being moved somewhere else, because we were always moving from one place to another (with Abu

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