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Malaysia

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This article concerns the Foreign relations of Malaysia.

Malaysia is an active member of various international organisations, including the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and the Non-Aligned Movement. It has also in recent times been an active proponent of regional co-operation.

Contents

Foreign policy 1957–1969

Malaysia has been a member of the Commonwealth since independence in 1957, when it entered into the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement (AMDA) with the United Kingdom whereby Britain guaranteed the defence of Malaya (and later Malaysia). The presence of British and other Commonwealth troops were crucial to Malaysia’s security during the Malayan Emergency (1948–1960) and the Indonesian Confrontation (1962–1966), which was sparked by Malaya’s merger with the British colonies of Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo to form Malaysia in 1963.

The British defence guarantee ended following Britain’s decision in 1967 to withdraw its forces east of Suez, and was replaced in 1971 with the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) by which Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to co-operate in the area of defence, and to “consult” in the event of external aggression or the threat of attack on Malaysia or Singapore. The FPDA continues to operate, and the Five Powers have a permanent Integrated Area Defence System based at RMAF Butterworth, and organise annual naval and air exercises.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman (up to 1970), Malaysia pursued a strongly pro-Commonwealth anti-communist foreign policy. Nonetheless, Malaysia was active in the opposition to apartheid that saw South Africa quit the Commonwealth in 1961, and was a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967 and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1969, with the Tunku as its first Secretary-General in 1971.

Foreign policy since 1969

Under Prime Ministers Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia shifted its policy towards non-alignment and neutrality. In 1971, ASEAN issued its neutralist and anti-nuclear Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) Declaration. Malaysia joined the Non-Aligned Movement, and in 1974 recognised the People's Republic of China.

This policy shift was continued and strengthened by Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, who pursued a regionalist and pro-South policy with at times strident anti-Western rhetoric. He long sought to establish an East Asian Economic Group as an alternative to APEC, excluding Australia, New Zealand and the Americas, and during his premiership Malaysia signed up to an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and ASEAN+3, a regional forum with China, Japan and South Korea. He was involved with a spat with Australian prime minister Paul Keating, who called him a “recalcitrant” after he refused to attend the APEC summit in Seattle.

Malaysia views regional cooperation as the cornerstone of its foreign policy. Malaysia was a leading advocate of expanding ASEAN’s membership to include Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar, arguing that “constructive engagement” with these countries, especially Burma, will help bring political and economic changes. Malaysia is also a member of G-15 and G-77 economic groupings.

Despite Mahathir’s frequently anti-Western rhetoric he worked closely with Western countries, and led a crackdown against Islamic fundamentalists after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Under his successor, Abdullah Badawi, relations with Western countries, particularly Australia, have improved.

The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who assumed office on 18 March 2008.

Malaysia's refusal to recognize Israel became an issue with respect to Malaysia's participation in a United Nations peacekeeping force after the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2006.

International affiliations

Malaysia is affiliated with the United Nations and many of its specialized agencies, including UNESCO, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Atomic Energy Agency; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Asian Development Bank, Five-Power Defense Arrangement, South Centre, East Asia Summit (EAS), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), The Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement, and Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

International disputes

Spratly

Malaysia has asserted sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with People's Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of China, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei. While the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions over the Spratly Islands, it is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties. Malaysia was not party to a March 2005 joint accord among the national oil companies of PROC, the Philippines and Vietnam on conducting marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands.

Singapore

Singapore was a part of Malaysia for two years (1963-65), but it ultimately was asked by Tunku to secede after increased racial tensions due to the election campaigns in 1964. Today, disputes continue among other things, over the pricing of deliveries of raw untreated water to Singapore, Singapore's land reclamation causing a negative environmental impact in Malaysian waters, a new bridge to replace the Johor-Singapore Causeway which Singapore does not want to pay for, maritime boundaries, the redevelopment of Malayan Railway lands in Singapore and Pulau Batu Putih. Both parties have however, agreed to ICJ arbitration on the island dispute within three years. Regarding railway land in Singapore, see also Malaysia-Singapore Points of Agreement of 1990. On introducing budget flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the stumbling block appears to be Malaysia's sympathy towards flag carrier Malaysia Airlines, and preference for the existing near duopoly with Singapore Airlines.

Ligitan, Sipadan and Ambalat

ICJ awarded Ligitan and Sipadan islands, also claimed by Indonesia and Philippines, to Malaysia but left maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Celebes Sea in dispute, culminating in hostile confrontations in March 2005 over concessions to the Ambalat oil block.

Pattani

Separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompts both Malaysia and Thailand to monitor their mutual borders.

Sabah

Philippines retains a now dormant claim to Malaysian state Sabah in northern Borneo.

Limbang

Malaysia's land boundary with Brunei around Limbang is no longer in dispute. On 16 March 2009, Brunei has decided to drop its long-standing claim over Sarawak’s Limbang district. This was the result of the two countries resolving their various land and sea territorial disputes. The resolution was part of several disputes which were settled and sealed with the signing of Letters of Exchange by Abdullah and the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hasannal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman on the same day.

Relations by country

South and East Asia

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur
  • Malaysia has a high commission in Dhaka.
  • Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • Malaysia and Bangladesh share common places in many global organizations, much less share cultural connections.
  • Both the two countries are members of the OIC, the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.
 Brunei See Malaysia-Brunei relations

Brunei has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Bandar Seri Begawan. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The states of Sarawak and Sabah in East Malaysia are connected to Brunei via the Pan Borneo Highway. Malaysia's land boundary with Brunei around Limbang is currently in dispute. In 2003, Brunei and Malaysia ceased gas and oil exploration in their disputed offshore and deep water seabeds and negotiations have stalemated prompting consideration of international adjudication.

 India

India has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in New Delhi. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Asian Union. India and Malaysia are also connected by various cultural and historical ties that date back to antiquity. The two countries are on excellently friendly terms with each other seeing as Malaysia is home to great number of Indians who have become naturalised.

 Indonesia
 Japan

Japan has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has an embassy in Tokyo.

 People's Republic of China See People's Republic of China – Malaysia relations

China has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Beijing and a consulate-general in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Diplomatic relations were established in 1974.[1] Following the end of the Cold War, diplomatic foreign relations between China and Malaysia immediately and positively changed. That being said, political and cultural connections between the two nations began to strengthen.[2] Both countries are full members of APEC, and there is a a sizeable population of Chinese in Malaysia.

 Philippines

See Malaysia–Philippines relations

  • The Philippines has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur
  • Malaysia has an embassy in Manila.
  • Despite religious differences (the former is mostly Muslim, while the latter is predominantly Roman Catholic,) Malaysia and the Philippines share a one-of-a-kind clandestine relationship rooted on the bases of geography, ethnicity, and political aspirations.
  • Both countries are members of the Asian Union.
 Singapore See Malaysia-Singapore relations

Singapore has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Singapore. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations. See also Malaysia-Singapore border, Pedra Branca dispute

 South Korea 1960 See Malaysia – South Korea relations

The two countries established relations in 1960.[3]

 Thailand See Malaysia-Thailand relations

Thailand has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Bangkok.

Recently, Thai-Malay relations have soured considerably due to the ethnically-Malay Pattani separatists in three southern provinces of Thailand. There have been claims by the Thai government that Malaysia has taken an interest in the cause of their opponents in the war, which his vehemently refuted by the latter.

See also Malaysia-Thailand border.

 Vietnam

Europe

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria See Austria–Malaysia relations

Austria has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Vienna.

Malaysia is one of Austria's most important trading partners in Asia. In 2003, Austrian exports to Malaysia, covering a wide range of products such as machinery and components, especially electrical machinery and parts thereof, paper, paperboard, telecommunication equipment and medical and pharmaceutical products, declined by 10.8% to 82.6 million. Malaysian imports to Austria, comprising of mainly one product group, namely electronic and electrical goods, especially semiconductors, reduced by half to 236.4 million. In Kuala Lumpur, the Austrian Trade office offers support to Austrian and Malaysian companies to assist them in forging new partnerships.[4]

 Belgium See Belgium–Malaysia relations

Belgium has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Brussels.

 European Union
  • The European Union has a delegation office in Kuala Lumpur.
 France
 Georgia 1993-05-07
 Germany See Germany–Malaysia relations

Germany has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Berlin.

 Greece
 Holy See
 Hungary See Hungary–Malaysia relations
 Ireland See Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 Kosovo See Kosovo–Malaysia relations

Formal relations between the two countries first began in 2000, when Malaysia became the first Asian country to establish a liaison office in Kosovo.[8] Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008 and Malaysia recognized it on 30 October 2008.[9] Since that time, Malaysia has pledged assistance to Kosovo in several areas.

 Netherlands See Malaysia–Netherlands relations

Netherlands has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in The Hague. The Dutch established relations with the Sultanate of Johor in the early 17th century, and in 1641 they captured the Portuguese colony of Malacca (on the south-western coast of today's Peninsular Malaysia). With a long interruption during the Napoleonic Wars, the Dutch Malacca era lasted until 1824. In the 20th century, the Netherlands established diplomatic relations with Malaysia soon after the Asian state became independent. The erudite Dutch Sinologist and author Robert van Gulik (who was raised in the former Dutch East Indies himself) served as the ambassador of the Netherlands in Kuala Lumpur in the early 1960s. During his diplomatic service there he became closely acquainted with Malaysia's gibbons (he kept a few in his ambassadorial residence) and became sufficiently interested in this ape species to start the study of its role in ancient Chinese culture, the results of which he later published in his last book (Gibbon in China).[10]

 Turkey See Malaysian–Turkish relations

Turkey has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Ankara. Both countries are full members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

 Romania

Malaysia has an embassy in Bucharest.[11] Romania has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.[12]

 Russia See Malaysia–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur[13], and Malaysia has an embassy in Moscow[14].

 Sweden 1958 See Malaysia–Sweden relations

Diplomatic relations were established in 1958.[15] Sweden has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Stockholm. As of 2009, 90 Swedish companies are present in Malaysia and about 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia.[16]

 Switzerland See Malaysia–Switzerland relations

Switzerland has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Bern.

 Ukraine 1992 See Malaysia–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom See Malaysia – United Kingdom relations

United Kingdom has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in London. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Americas

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Brazil

Malaysia has an embassy in Brasilia while Brazil has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

 Canada

Canada has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Ottawa. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Canada-Malaysia not yet have any trading agreements nor they have any plans on negotiating on FTA.

 United States See Malaysia – United States relations

Economic ties are robust. The United States is Malaysia's largest trading partner and Malaysia is the tenth-largest trading partner of the U.S. Annual two-way trade amounts to $49 billion. The United States and Malaysia launched negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in June 2006.

 Uruguay

Malaysia is represented in Uruguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and through an honorary consulate in Montevideo. Uruguay had an embassy in Kuala Lumpur but it closed in 2002 due to economic reasons.[19] Both countries are full members of the Group of 77. In November 2007, Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez visited Malaysia and lead a delegation of 50 people from Uruguay. During this visit, a joint communique was issued, saying that the two countries could strengthen their cooperation in the field of peacekeeping training.[20] Uruguay's main exports to Malaysia are beef and leather. In 2001, bilateral trade was worth about US$40 million.[19] This fell to RM96.1 million (approximately US$27million) in 2006.[20][21]

 Venezuela See Malaysia-Venezuela relations

Malaysia has an embassy in Caracas while Venezuela has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries are full members of the Group of 77.

Rest of World

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia
 New Zealand See Malaysia – New Zealand relations

New Zealand has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Wellington. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

 Iran

Diplomatic relations between Iran and Malaysia are brotherly and cooperative, with Iran having its' Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia having its' Embassy in Tehran. The two countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the D8, and firmly oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The Economic trade between Iran and Malaysia is quite sturdy as well, amounting to $1.43 billion as of 2008[2].

 Pakistan See Malaysia–Pakistan relations

Pakistan has its High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has its High Commission in Islamabad. Pakistan has strong brotherly relations with Malaysia. Both are members of Organization of Islamic Conference (O.I.C,) and the Commonwealth of Nations. There is a trade and cultural pact between the two countries, under which the import and export of various goods is done on fairly large scale. The President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan along with other high officials visited Malaysia many times and Malaysian officials also paid a good will visit to Pakistan. Both the countries enjoy close relations and military links of mutual friendship and the cooperation has further strengthened. Since its independence Pakistan has supported the re-unfications of Singapore, Pattani (region) and Brunei as integral part of Kuala Lumpur's administration, it also considers the Riau Islands as part of Malaya Federation since its independence in 1960. Pakistan and Malaysia are linked by Air Transport. Pakistan International Airlines and Malaysia Airlines operate many weekly flights between Karachi and Kuala Lumpur.

 Saudi Arabia See Malaysia – Saudi Arabia relations

Saudi Arabia has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Riyadh. Relations, both diplomatic and economic, are quite close between the two Muslim-majority OIC members. Additionally, there is a sizable population of Malaysian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

 United Arab Emirates See Malaysia – United Arab Emirates relations

United Arab Emirates has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Abu Dhabi.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Sino-Malaysian Relationship in the Post-Cold War Period
  3. ^ Ariffin, Roslan (2007-03-08), "Najib Dijangka Kukuhkan Hubungan Dua Hala M'sia-Korea Selatan (Najib plans strong Malaysia-South Korea bilateral relations)", Bernama, http://bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/bm/news.php?id=250285, retrieved 2007-05-04  
  4. ^ Promising Austria
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2009 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana ISBN 978-88-209-8191-4), p. 1359
  6. ^ Malaysian Missions Abroad
  7. ^ "Mahathir to visit Vatican for meeting with pope". Kyodo News. May 24, 2002.  
  8. ^ "Malaysia to establish liaison office in Kosovo". Business Times. September 12, 2000. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5556/is_200009/ai_n21953584/. Retrieved 2009-04-24.  
  9. ^ "Malajzia njeh Republikën e Kosovës" (in Albanian). Ministry of Foreign Affaires of the Republic of Kosovo. 2008-10-31. http://www.ks-gov.net/MPJ/Home/tabid/161/ItemID/135/View/Details/Default.aspx. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  10. ^ Robert van Gulik, The gibbon in China. An essay in Chinese animal lore. E.J.Brill, Leiden, Holland. (1967)
  11. ^ Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Malaysian in Bucharest
  12. ^ Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Romanian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
  13. ^ (Russian) "Малайзия". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. http://www.ln.mid.ru/zu_r.nsf/e0f3cd1a55ff248dc32571e7003f460b/7411f12005998158c32565e8003604b0?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  14. ^ "Welcome To The Official Website of Embassy of Malaysia, Moscow". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia. http://www.kln.gov.my/perwakilan/moscow. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  15. ^ "National Day Of Sweden Celebrations In Malaysia". Scandasia.com. http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=se&news_id=4370. Retrieved 2009-06-05. "6 June 2008 does not only represent the National Day of Sweden, but also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Malaysia. ..."  
  16. ^ "H.E. Helena Sångeland: Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia". Scandasia.com. http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=my&news_id=1951. Retrieved 2009-06-06. "Her Excellency Helena Sångeland arrived in Malaysia in August 2005 to take up her new post. But a state visit to Sweden by the Malaysian King and Queen coincided with her appointment and ironically she spent much of the first few months of her posting in Sweden rather than Malaysia. ... Some 90 Swedish connected companies are present in Malaysia at the moment and it is believed that as many as 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia at the moment. The figure is not precise due to the fact that not everybody registers their arrival with the embassy."  
  17. ^ Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Malaysian embassy in Kiev
  18. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
  19. ^ a b http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2002/12/12/nation/gpclose&sec=nation
  20. ^ a b http://www.thehindu.com/holnus/003200711151016.htm
  21. ^ http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=286251
  22. ^ Australian Department of Defence







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