Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s visit to her country of birth has included talks to ease Malaysia’s concerns about Australia’s AUKUS security pact.

Senator Wong, who was born in the Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu, said it was an honour to represent Australia at bilateral talks with Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Saifuddin bin Abdullah.

“It is a very special day for me to come here representing the country I now am living in and representing the people of Australia (in) the country of my birth,” she told reporters at a joint press conference on Tuesday.

“Me being here, I hope, is a reminder of modern Australia. Like Malaysia, we are a multicultural nation. A nation where so many Australians were born overseas or have parents born overseas.”

The pair discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, technology and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as regional security.

Senator Wong also looked to alleviate reservations about Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear submarines as part of the AUKUS security pact with the United States and United Kingdom.

At the time the deal was announced in 2021, Malaysia expressed concern about the ramifications of Australia having nuclear-powered submarines.

Malaysia’s foreign minister said there was a “candid discussion” about AUKUS, with the nation’s view on the security pact remaining unchanged.

Senator Wong said the new Labor government had committed to going ahead with the new submarines, but Australia would not become a nuclear power.

“There are nuclear powers in this region, but Australia is not one of them,” she said.

“What we are doing is replacing an existing capability with a new capability and that is nuclear-propelled submarines.

“Australia will always operate on the basis that we have this objective of a region that is peaceful, a region that is stable, a region that is prosperous, a region in which sovereignty is respected.”