Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Dis3113 bilateral relations with neighboring countries


Published on

  • Login to see the comments

Dis3113 bilateral relations with neighboring countries

  1. 1. Malaysia’s foreign relations Bilateral relations with neighboring countries
  2. 2. Questions to ask • What theoretical perspective (s) to frame the discussion? • What is Malaysia’s policy towards a particular country in the region? • What are the factors shaping the relationship? • What are the major issues involved? • What kind of bilateral cooperation ?
  3. 3. Malaysia-Indonesia relations • How to describe Malaysia-Indonesia relations? CHARACTERISED BY CONFLICT AND COOPERATION • What are the factors shaping their relationship? Geography • History • Commonalities • Personalities/ leadership • External factors
  4. 4. History : commonality & divergence • SHARED HISTORY: BEFORE COMING OF EUROPEAN COLONIALISM, THE TWO AREAS HAD SHARED HISTORY • European colonialism marked the beginning of their separate ways.
  5. 5. ethnic & cultural affinities • Concept of ‘keserumpunan’ : similarities in traditions, culture, language, religion etc. • Familiarity with each other’s culture helped facilitate closer relationship among peoples of both countries
  6. 6. Differences • There are differences between Malaysia and Indonesia : • Different vision of nation-building & its objectives & philosophy • Power relations and ambitions differ : Indonesia a pivot nation, Malaysia , smaller, developmental state
  7. 7. SPECIAL RELATIONS? • Is Malaysia-Indonesia relations special? • Yes, by virtue of those commonalities, similarities. • but mindful of the differences , own distinct identities. • Conflict : only one in modern time : konfrontasi, both countries chose not to remember it for their own domestic reasons.
  8. 8. Current Major issues in bilateral relations • There are areas of potential conflicts : migrant workers, territorial and maritime dispute, cultural heritage
  9. 9. Areas of cooperation • Security and defence • Economic • Socio-cultural • Political and economic cooperation enhanced through ASEAN.
  10. 10. Relations with Singapore • By and large, relations shaped more by domestic factors than external • geographical proximity, • history, • socio-cultural affinities, • economic interdependence, • similarities in political system.
  11. 11. Why merger in 1963? • Lee Kuan Yew, May 1963 argued that “ the political, economic and military reasons are so compelling that we would be committing national suicide if we refuse to merge in Malaysia.” • LKY also declared that the first pre-condition for the success of Malaysia was “national unity of all the races comprising Malaysia with undivided loyalty to the elected Central Government of Malaysia.” • So what happened?
  12. 12. Why the separation? • Why did Kuala Lumpur decided to “evict” / expel Singapore out of Malaysia? • Tunku spoke in Parliament on 9 August 1965 of “ a State Government that has ceased to give even a measure of loyalty to the Central Government.
  13. 13. Reasons why KL , S’pore didn’t get along • Nordin Sophiee gave several reasons: • 1. Economic & financial issues unresolved • 2. Different ideological temperament : unsuited to each other • 3. Political behaviour of PAP & Alliance leaders—causing verbal dogfight • 4. Singapore’s excessive sense of self- importance & importance of its role in M’sia
  14. 14. Characterizing M-S relations • acrimonious in the beginning, • Tunku’s description : “cat and dog” relationship, others : divorced couple syndrome, “gila talak”, Siamese twins etc. • But relations evolved to become closer.
  15. 15. Issues in M-S relations • Earlier issues surrounding merger & separation dissipated, replaced by other more practical concerns • Water , KTM land CIQ facilities. • Pulau Batu Putih • CPF, SAF use of Malaysian airspace • Interference in domestic politics
  16. 16. Towards better relations after Dr M • Dr M: “ I’m very glad that the problems I have created have been relegated to the background”. • New approach, CBMs on both sides • Politically there are ups and downs but economic relations remain strong. • Increase security & defence cooperation
  17. 17. Relations with Vietnam • Relations began in 1957 with Republic of Vietnam ( South Vietnam), with Democratic Republic of Vietnam ( North Vietnam) in 1973. • Early relations ( with SV) based on support for anti communist regime , Malaysia supported US in the VN war. • Relations with DRVN/ SRVN in the context of non-aligned, independent foreign policy
  18. 18. Why support for South VN? • Malaysia’s fear of China (Chinese) threat, under Tunku, support for US policy of containment of China, pro West FP • Malaysia’s anti-communist stand, bitter experience with communist insurgency at home
  19. 19. Relations with North Vietnam • March 30, 1973-Malaysia & DRVN established diplomatic relations, agreed to “ develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, equality and mutual advantage.” • Mission set up only in 1976.
  20. 20. Development & evolution after 1975 • assistance to VN in its post war reconstruction efforts • Exchange of visits to promote bilateral relations. • But there were political differences : ZPOFAN, ASEAN . • Despite political differences, both countries avoided confrontation
  21. 21. Issues in bilateral relations • 1. Refugee problem :first batch of “boat people “ arrived in Malaysia May 1973. • By end of 1977 Malaysia became top receiver of refugees —classified as “illegal immigrants” • Refugees created problems in the country, also caused Malaysia external difficulties
  22. 22. Issues ( cont.) • 2. suspicion of Hanoi’s support for CPM • No evidence of direct, strong connection, but exchanges of messages, broadcast by Suara Revolusi Malaya on activities on CPM & CPV • Hanoi valued its cordial relations with Malaysia , would not jeopardize it with support for CPM, esp. CPM was pro-China.
  23. 23. Issues ( cont.) • 3. ZOPFAN –did not gain support of VN • VN described it as” an attempt to paint the same neo-colonial edifice with a different color”, • Suspicious of ASEAN close relations with US
  24. 24. issues • 4. Cambodia : Malaysia alarmed at VN invasion of Cambodia end of 1978 • Halted many diplomatic events business projects between M & VN, • Relations back to mutual distrust , suspicion especially over Hanoi’s regional intention & refugee problem. • Deterioration of relations from 1980 to 1986 over Cambodia
  25. 25. Other issues • Spratlys ( Truong Sa) islands —not a new issue, but surfaced in 1980 • VN occupied Amboyna Cay in 1977, Malaysia published new official map Jan 1980. • Malaysia occupied Swallow reef, ( Terumbu Layang2) ,60km of Amboyna Cay. • Despite claims, accusations, protests against each other, Malaysia & VN did not go to war over Spratlys
  26. 26. Improved relations • Due to several factors: • 1986 introduction of Doi moi . • End of Cold War 1990, • settlement of Cambodian conflict • Vietnam joined ASEAN in 1995.
  27. 27. Post doi moi relations • Increased its economic, trade presence in VN since doi moi, one of top investors • Increased cooperation within ASEAN framework • M-VN relations not burdened by historical or socio-cultural baggages, unlike that of Malaysia’s relations with Singapore or with Indonesia
  28. 28. readings • Abdullah Ahmad (1985) Tengku Abdul Rahman’s Foreign Policy. • Danny Wong Tze Ken (1995) Vietnam-Malaysia relations during the Cold War. • Jatswan S Sidhu ‘ Whither Malaysia-Singapore Relations ‘ in Ruhanas Harun (2006) (ed.) Malaysia’s Foreign Relations : KL , Penerbit Universiti Malaya • Johan Saravanamuttu (2010) Fifty Years of Foreign Policy. • Mohamed Nordin Sopiee ( 1974) From Malayan Union to Singapore separation : KL, University of Malaya Press • Ruhanas Harun ( 2006) (ed.) Malaysia’s Foreign Relations : KL , Penerbit Universiti Malaya