A cheerful and sad goodbye

During his 4 ½ year term HE Borge Petersen has been visiting all states of Malaysia except two. He has met with all Danish companies in Malaysia. He has hosted several business networking evenings and many a gathering for the Danish community. Denmark has become the 5th largest investor in Malaysia. The largest number of Danish delegations ever has visited Malaysia in the last 4 years with the latest delegation just some few weeks ago. And Borge Petersen confesses that he and his wife Jytte have enjoyed tremendously being in Malaysia. “We’ll be back” seems to almost be on their lips.


It is with sadness that locals and local Danes in Malaysia says bye bye. Here’s what a few of them were saying at a recent farewell reception at the Ambassador’s residence.


Lily Hor who is project Coordinator for DANIDA has enjoyed enormously working with the Ambassador or the “Boss” as he is lovingly called:


–  “Even though the Ambassador has a strong commercial background he has picked up development issues extremely fast. He has really gotten to know the workings of the Malaysian government and agencies inside out. He is fast and adaptable, constructive and respectful at the same time. He has helped me to grow both professionally and as a person by leading the way with high expectations”, says Lily who has the utmost respect for Borge Petersen. “I will miss him”.


Mr. Muthusamy will also be sad to see him go. Mr. Muthu has been working with HE Borge Petersen in the capacity of Deputy Director of Environment & Natural Resource Economics, Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department. He is also in charge of Malaysian bilateral relations with Japan.


–  “Mr Petersen is very straight forward to work with and he certainly has been keeping us on our toes… with all due respect. I think that he is very proactive and involved, he simply wants to ensure that Danish aid money is being paid to the right thing. He is constantly pushing to see results. I have learned a lot from the Ambassador’s very transparent way of working, an eye opener indeed,  and it has been very good working with him”, it comes from Mr Muthusamy who is sad to see the Ambassador leave.


Datuk Mustafa Mansur also has many fond memories of his working relationship with the Ambassador. Datuk Mustafa got to know the Ambassador in his capacity as Chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and that’s where a close relationship started.


–  “The Ambassador was looking for a partner for DANIDA investments in Malaysia and asked me for a suggestion. I said, why not work with FMM on this? And, actually to my surprise at the time, FMM is now the focal point to encourage Danish environmental investments in Malaysia. Even though HE has always been very approachable and open, he is also strict on ensuring that all decisions are prudent. In fact, we’ve been meeting every 2 weeks to ensure that the projects are going well. I am very happy to have been working with this charming Ambassador”, says the now ex Chairman of FMM and present Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, Datuk Mustafa.


Erik Petersen, MD of Aalborg White has been using the Ambassador somewhat differently.


–  “I have used him to open doors for us. Without the Ambassador we would have had difficulties acquiring Petronas as a customer for Aalborg White and I must say that he in general has been really good for Danish business here. I am also proud to say that he has actively been pushing us Danish companies to take environmentally correct initiatives. We for one now are working on a project using sawdust as fuel, says Erik Petersen who has been in Malaysia for approx. 4 years after a posting in Indonesia, amongst others.


–  “Never in my 13 years in Malaysia have we seen such a good Ambassador”, establishes Ditte Andreasen as her opening comment about the HE Borge Petersen. She is Vice President Operations of the Danish company AMBU and based in Penang.


–  “Borge has shown a greater interest in Danish businesses than any other ambassador I’ve met. And he is the first one to visit Penang. He has even been bringing a number of delegations up here and we feel like we’re part of the Danish community now. We’re on the map for business too. He is just so positive and Denmark now has a much more prominent position in the local Penang community. Even the local politicians know who Borge is”, says Ditte who finds the Ambassador couple very enjoyable to be with as friends too. She hopes and expects to see more of the Ambassador couple in years to come.


Chris Wong the Ambassador’s personal assistant will, however, hardly have time to miss her third Ambassador, HE Borge Petersen. She is already very busy preparing for the arrival of his predecessor who is due in the country very soon. Chris cheerfully says that she has been enjoying working with Borge Petersen… at a much faster pace than normal.


Borge Petersen is expected to arrive at his next posting in Jakarta late August after a holiday. He will be the new Danish Ambassador to Indonesia.


The new Danish Ambassador to Malaysia, HE Svend Waever will be arriving in KL with his family end of July to ensure that his 2 children are ready for school start.

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