Apr.26 - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Malaysia on his third leg of a week-long Asia trip. Sarah Toms reports.
This visit has been a long time in the making. U.S. President Barack Obama steps onto the tarmac for a landmark visit to Malaysia. He's the first serving American leader to visit the predominantly-Muslim nation in decades. This visit signals closer bilateral relations. It's part of the U.S. strategy to dilute China's influence in the region. Obama was greeted with all the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. But it's not every day a U.S. president comes to Malaysia. American leaders stayed away in the past because of years of anti-Western rhetoric under former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad. Now Prime Minister Najib Razak wants Washington to recognise Malaysia as a global player. Obama wants Kuala Lumpur to sign a free trade deal with 10 other nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Malaysia is a close trading partner of China and has opposed parts of the deal.