The Qatar government has agreed to recognise Malaysian driving licence, hence exempting the holders from having to sit for driving test in that country.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the “gift” from the Qatar government to the Malaysians was acquired during his meeting with Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Nasser Khalifa Al Thani, who is also Interior Minister, Yesterday.
“The Qatar prime minister immediately approves my request after I informed him of problems facing Malaysians, especially those working in the country,” Bernama reported as he saying at a dinner with Malaysians in Doha.
The announcement by the deputy prime minister was welcomed with an applause from those present, including Malaysian Ambassador to Qatar Ahmad Jazri Mohd Johar.
Prior to this, Malaysians are required to sit and pass the driving test in Qatar to be able to drive in the left-hand driving country.
Ahmad Zahid said it was the special relations enjoyed between Malaysia and Qatar that problems facing Malaysian citizens and companies could be resolved through meetings by leaders of both countries without having to go through diplomatic channel that could take a longer time.
As such, he said, Malaysians in Qatar should protect the good image and reputation of their homeland so that the Qatar government’s confidence in Malaysia would not be affected.
Ahmad Zahid said the outcome of his meeting with several Qatar leaders during the visit showed that the Qatar government looked highly on the contributions made by Malaysians and the capability of Malaysian companies.
He said the Malaysian workforce in Malaysia comprised those in technical fields and professionals, and not labourers or unskilled workers like from other countries.
Zahid arrived in Qatar last Saturday for a four-day working visit on the invitation from Sheikh Abdullah Nasser.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Association of Qatar president Ahmad Hasnan Mohd Zaki welcomed the Qatar government’s move in recognising Malaysian driving licence.
Otherwise, Malaysians would have to wait for at least four months and fork out $2,500 Riyal Qatar to sit for the driving test, he added.