Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 28, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Malaysia adopts a balanced foreign policy, stands clear of provocations — PM

RIYADH, April 28 — Malaysia adopts a balanced foreign policy approach between the West and East and stands clear of any sort of position that is deemed provocative, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today.

Putrajaya engages well with the United States (US) and Europe and, at the same time, maintains excellent bilateral relations with China, South Korea, and Japan.

“We engage and depend on the support, collaboration and investments from the West, like the United States and Europe, while at the same time maintaining excellent bilateral relations with China, (South) Korea, and Japan.”

“Especially with China as there has been growing investments and interest,” he said at the Special World Economic Forum’s (WEF) opening plenary session, titled ‘A new vision for global development’.

Cumulatively, the US stands as number one in terms of total investments in Malaysia and China increasingly has become one of the major investors.

Anwar added that Malaysia is very clear about not taking any position that is deemed provocative against one another.

“We welcome investments based on our rules and will not enter into any sort of decision that is deemed to be provocative,” he said.

Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said that for a small emerging economy, the balancing act is not an easy feat.

“I think so far we have managed.

“We have to navigate very wisely and we are fortunate because there is somewhat an Asean consensus on this, though not in full because of different strengths but at least within the Asean mechanism, there has been this sort of a position that we maintain our neutrality,” he said.

Anwar highlighted the need for broader engagements with African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern nations, as major economies tend to dictate terms and frequently exhibit condescension.

“We cannot do it alone, and we will have to engage,” he said.

Within Asean, despite some minor differences on foreign policy issues, the focus, engagement and bilateral relationships between the member countries are excellent.

“So we do not have any issues having to work together as a team. And that is why Asean happens to be now among one of the most cohesive forces, a sub-regional force in the world.

“And we are now focusing more on trade investments and intra-trade investments,” Anwar said.

On geopolitical issues, Anwar said that despite the complex situation affecting the Middle East, particularly the anger and frustration over the Gaza crisis, the economies of Muslim countries should not be affected.

The Prime Minister commended Saudi Arabia for hosting the meeting and urged the kingdom to continue engaging with developing and emerging economies, especially those within the Muslim community.

“The issue (Palestine) is important and is fundamental to us, but at the same time, we have to survive. The economy has to be strong and the fundamentals need to be built,” he said.

Themed “Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development”, the two-day meeting convenes over 1,000 global leaders from 92 countries, including heads of state and government, thought leaders from public and private sectors, as well as international organisations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organisations.

— Bernama


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