23. foreign policies


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  • 23. foreign policies

    2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Malaysia’s policy in relation to regional and international affairs has as its focus the creation of peace and harmony. • A country can achieve peace and harmony through co-operation in economic, social and political activities . • Although misunderstanding can exist among member countries of an organization, a solution can be quickly decided. • Hence, any dispute can be solved, especially through consultation.
    3. 3. ASEAN • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in Bangkok in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration. • It started with 5 original member nations – Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. • Aims at improving co-operation among the member nations in economic, social, cultural, educational, technological and administrative matters. • ASEAN is not a military alliance like NATO. • Consequently, ASEAN does not involve itself in the internal affairs or politics of its member nations. • If a conflict in a member nation is serious enough to threaten the stability and security of the region, ASEAN will act – through discussion or consultation.
    4. 4. • ASEAN takes the view that regional problems can be settled by the region itself without the intervention of the big powers. • Was emphasized in the Kuala Lumpur Proclamation (1971) through an agreement to create a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN). • Now ASEAN has 10 member nations – Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. • Rapid development of ASEAN had attracted the interest of the major powers in the world. • The United States, for instance, was uneasy over Vietnam’s participation in the grouping. • However, Myanmar’s admission into ASEAN that received greatest criticism.
    5. 5. • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (1989) goal is to achieve free and open trade and investment no later than 2010 for developed countries and no later than 2020 for developing countries. • East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC)/Lingkungan Ekonomi Asia Timur, is one of the ASEAN programmes proposed by Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad (1990) as a consultative forum to discuss common economic problems. • The ASEAN countries should stand united to overcome whatever economic, social and political problems they may encounter, and not be unduly influenced by the big powers.
    6. 6. The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) • The OIC was established in Morocco in 1969 with the aim of fostering economic, social and political cooperation among member countries. • It also seeks to strengthen friendship among Islamic countries. • Tunku Abdul Rahman was selected as the OIC first Secretary General. • In education, Malaysia received the cooperation of several OIC countries to build the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in K.L. • The Malaysian government has also offered scholarships to Islamic students from Bosnia, Albania, Nigeria and other countries at the IIUM.
    7. 7. • The Islamic Development Bank was set up under the patronage of the OIC. • To help poor Islamic countries, Malaysia has extended technical and economic assistance to countries like Mali and the Maldives. • Malaysia demonstrated serious commitment over the Bosnia-Herzegovina issue by playing host to a meeting of concerned OIC group in K.L. (Sept. 1995).
    8. 8. THE COMMONWEALTH • • • • • The Commonwealth is an organisation made up of Britain and its former colonies. There are now 54 countries in the organisation. These countries which share the same colonial past have a special diplomatic relationship among themselves. The Commonwealth does not have an official charter or constitution, and this enables member countries to act freely in their own internal or external affairs. Although Queen Elizabeth of England is the head of the Commonwealth, she has no political power over the member countries.
    9. 9. • As a member of the Commonwealth, Malaysia has benefited from a defence treaty with Britain. • Known as the British-Malayan Defence Treaty, was signed in 1957. • Britain agreed to defend Malaya and Singapore in the event of enemy attack. • When the treaty was abolished in 1968, a new fivepower defence treaty was signed among Malaysia, Britain, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. • A plan was drawn up to encourage developed Commonwealth countries to help fellow member countries that are poor and needed aid – Colombo Plan. • This programme extended aid in the form of educational, technical and financial assistance.
    10. 10. • • • • i. ii. • • The Commonwealth also has a Commonwealth education scholarship fund. Under this programme, Malaysian students studying in Commonwealth countries can have access to this fund. Malaysia played host to a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 1989. Two important declarations were passed: Kuala Lumpur Declaration Langkawi Declaration Through Kuala Lumpur Declaration, the member countries resolved to put an end to the Apartheid Policy of the South African regime. As a result, the policy was finally abolished in 1994 – Nelson Mandela became the President.
    11. 11. The United Nations Organisation (UN) • The UN was set up in 1945 in San Francisco, United States. • The main objectives of the UN are to preserve world peace and security, to encourage social, economic and cultural cooperation among the nations of the world, and to protect the basic rights of the people regardless of race, religion and culture. • Malaysia joined the UN as soon as it obtained its independence. • Among its contributions is its participation in peacekeeping missions: i. Congo in 1960 ii. Iran-Iraq border in 1988 iii. Namibia in 1989
    12. 12. • Malaysia plays an active role in fighting for the rights of the people of Palestine. • It has organized an international conference about the Palestine issue in K.L. • Malaysia was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 1965 and 1989. • Malaysian leaders also made the name of the country renowned in the UN: i. Former PM was selected to head the Conference on Drug Abuse in Austria in 1987. ii. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed to head the UNESCO in 1989. iii. Tan Sri Musa Hitam was appointed chairman of the UN committee on Fundamental Rights in 1995. • Malaysia is also a member of the World bank.