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Overview

Malaysias involvement in regional and world affairs is important as it has been included in Malaysias foreign policy since the country gained its independence in the year 1957 and has a very active involvement to achieve global political and socio-economic stability and security within other countries.

Through Malaysias participation in regional and world affairs, Malaysia has voiced out that resolution of international conflict should be peaceful and in line with the United Nations and international law. Malaysia will support all efforts with the purpose of strengthening regional and world affairs.

Although Malaysia is a small nation, it plays a vital role in regional and world affairs and is currently an active member of a number of multilateral organisations including the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Commonwealth and the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) which Malaysias contributions toward these organizations will be further elaborated.

(http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/md-overview).

The Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations, better known as the Commonwealth and formerly the British Commonwealth, is an international organization consisting of a total of 53 countries, where all except Mozambique and Rwanda were at one time part of the British Empire. These countries, who are members of the Commonwealth, are regarded as equivalent in status and share common values and goals as stated in the Singapore Declaration. The Head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial position, is currently held by Queen Elizabeth II and is the independent ruler of sixteen Commonwealth members, known as the Commonwealth realms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_Nations).

As a member in the Commonwealth, Malaysia has played its part in a number of occasions. Firstly, Malaysia hosted the 10th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in Langkawi, in the year 1989, with the prime minister, Dr Mahathir bin Mohamadas the president of the Meeting (http://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHOGM_1989). The Meeting resulted in the Southern Africa: The Way Ahead (The Kuala Lumpur Statement) and the

Langkawi Declaration on Environment. (http://www.commonwealth-ofnations.org/Malaysia_in_the_Commonwealth)

In the Southern Africa: The Way Ahead (The Kuala Lumpur Statement), Malaysia played its part by expressing their opposition and dissatisfaction towards the Apartheid policy in South Africa that cultivates racism and discriminates human rights (http://sukosenseispm.blogspot.com/), and whereby increasing their support for majority ruled countries in South Africa which were affected by the situation (http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/index.). The Apartheid policy was a system of legal racial separation between the white and the non-white inhabitants, enforced by the National Party government of South Africa form the year 1948 till 1994 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_under_apartheid#Commonwealth). As for the Langkawi Declaration on Environment, it was issued regarding environmental sustainability which includes cooperation among members in controlling as well as handling pollution strategically (http://wn.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langkawi_Declaration). The Langkawi Declaration on Environment was the first Commonwealth statement that included environmental protection an important factor in development. (http://www.commonwealth-ofnations.org/Malaysia_in_the_Commonwealth) In addition, during this Meeting, Chief Anyaoku was elected the third Commonwealth Secretary-General (http://www.the commonwealth.org/Internal/).

Apart from that, Malaysia also hosted the Third Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM) in Kuala Lumpur, from the 27th till the 30th of May 1998. The Meeting was opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. A total of 44 countries participated in the Meeting, which was chaired by the Honourary Tan Sri DatoHajiMuhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin, Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia. The theme of the meeting was Youth Empowerment in the New Millennium which consisted of objectives and goals to encourage the new generation to contribute to the nations development (http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Internal/156698/youth_ministers_meetings/).

Malaysia made another important contribution to the Commonwealth by hosting the 16th Commonwealth Games, in Kuala Lumpur, in the year 1998 and was the first Asian country to host the last Commonwealth Games for the 20th century. A total of 70 nations participated which contributed to a total of 3638 participants in the event. The ceremony was officially opened by the late Yang di-PertuanAgongTuankuJaafaribniAlmarhumTuanku Abdul Rahman on the 11th of September in the National Stadium Bukit Jalil. Malaysia itself had succeeded in achieving ten gold medals in the Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Commonwealth_Games).

Apart from that, Malaysia hosted the First Commonwealth Tourism Ministers Meeting in Kuala Lumpur from the 20th till the 21st March 2004, with the theme Promoting intraCommonwealth Tourism. The Meeting, which was initiated by the government of Malaysia aims to increase the number of tourists within and outside the Commonwealth countries as well

as to ensure the boosting and growth of the tourism industry (http://www.thecommonwealth.org/press/31555/34582/37084/tourism.htm).

Malaysia also became the host for the Seventeenth Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (17CCEM), in Kuala Lumpur from the 15th till the 18th June 2009. The Conference was attended by a total of 40 countries, and was opened by none other than the Honorary Dato Sri MohamadNajibTun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The topic discussion mainly concerned the field of learning and education alongside nation development (http://www.thecommonwealth.org/document/208198/17ccem_communique.htm).

Lastly, Malaysia was also involved in invoking economical issues in the Commonwealth. Malaysia has helped Sri Lanka by providing information on seeds of rubber trees and ways to plant them, apart from offering scholarships to students of Britain, India, New Zealand and etcetera. Malaysia has also helped raise the social economy of Commonwealth members by cooperation and close relationships (http://www.slideshare.net/rara8989/pengajianmalaysiampw1133komanwel-3814699).

United Nations

United Nations is an international organization which wants to facilitate international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights and achievement of world peace. It is founded in 1945 after World War 2 as a replacement of League of Nations, to stop wars happening between countries and to provide a platform for dialogue. Malaysia joined United Nations in 17 September 1957 and had contributed a lot to the world as a member of United Nations. Firstly, Malaysia helped to solve international problems together with other members of United Nations. In the year of 1960, the army of Malaysia had played a vital role in providing military support to solve Congo Crisis. Congo Crisis was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that stared from the independence of Belgium and ended with the seizing power by Joseph Mobutu (29/05-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_Crisis#UN_

military_intervention). The security council of United Nations created an army to restore and order Congo. With the help of army from Malaysia and other country such as Australia and England, Congo Crisis was finally solved. Besides that, Malaysia was also sent as one of the peace-keeping troops to help Namibia to achieve independence. Before independence, Namibia was a colony of Germany, which is

known as German-South West Africa. After World War 2, United Nations instituted a trusteeship system. All the former colonies of German in Africa will be brought under United Nations control. With the help of Malaysia, Namibia achieved independence(30/05http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Namibia). Moreover, Malaysia also voice out their opinion against the Apartheid system happening in South Africa between 1948 and 1994. This is a system of legal racial segregation practiced by South Africa National Party, where the rights of the majority black people of South Africa was curtailed and was ruled by the minority white people. In that period, the black people were deprived of citizenships and they were segregated in education, medical care, beaches and other facilities and public services. This made the services provided to the Indians to be more inferior compared to the white. Thus, Malaysia had played a crucial role in voicing out their disagreement under_apartheid) On top of that, Malaysia raised the issue on Antarctica at United Nations in the year of 1982. It was regarding the governance and the rights of global citizens over Antarcticas natural resource(30/05-http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/legal/general_news/malaysia_havin g_ second _thoughts_on_antarctica_treaty.html.). Not only that, Malaysia is also one of the members of World Bank, which was established in 1945 (05/06-http://www.scribd.com/doc/ 19287832/NotaSejarah-Tingkatan-5-Bab-9-MALAYSIA-DALAM-KERJASAMA-ANTARABANGSA). The diplomat of Malaysia, Tan Sri Razali Ismail was once the president of United Nation General Meeting from 1996 to 1997 (05/06-http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Razali_Ismail). on Apartheid system(30/05-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_

Nevertheless, Malaysia had worked together with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in food processing (05/06-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Food_and_Agriculture_Organization). Malaysia was also being chosen as a member of United Nations Security Council in 1965, 1989 and 1999 (05/06-http://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki /Majlis_Keselamatan_Pertubuhan_Bangsa-Bangsa_Bersatu). In a nutshell, Malaysia had played its role and contributed to the world as a member of United Nations.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference

Malaysia has been a member of The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since its establishment in 1969(http://www.oic-oci.org/member_states.asp). The OIC headquarters is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and has 57 member countries and 3 observer countries with a main goal of attempting to be the collective voice of the Muslim world and attempt to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of Muslims (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_of_the_Islamic_Conference). Malaysias contribution to the OIC has been prominent since the beginning of the formation of the OIC. The idea of establishing the OIC was mooted by the first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. He was then granted the honour of becoming the first secretary-general of the OIC in 1971. Malaysia also acted as a mediator in resolving the Iran-Iraq war (Gulf War) which occurred from the year September 1980 to August 1988. Malaysia has also provided endless support to the war-stricken Palestine in their fight them to regain their homeland from Israel Apart from aiding war-stricken member countries, Malaysia also was also given the privilege and honour to host a number of OIC events. Malaysia became the host country for the OIC conference in the year 1974 and quite recently in the year 2003, which was held in Putrajaya. Malaysia has also contributed to the OIC by awarding deserving students from OIC member countries to study at The International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

Malaysia has also recommended the use of gold dinar among Muslim countries in matters of trade and other economic activities. Overall, Malaysia has received honours from other OIC member countries as Malaysia as shown seriousness and determination in fighting rights and welfare of other Muslim nations. As a member country of the OIC, Malaysia has also received certain benefits. For example, Malaysia obtained a benefit in the form of a loan from Islamic Development Bank to carry out development projects for the interest of Malaysians. The OIC also provided assistance to Malaysia in the establishment of The International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). Malaysia is also able to obtain loans from the Islamic Development Bank.

the official OIC logo

Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)

By the efforts of Malaysia on the 8th of August 1967, the Bangkok Declaration was signed which brought to the establishment of the Association of Southeast Nations or commonly known as ASEAN. ASEAN was preceded by an organization called the Association of Southeast Asia, commonly called ASA, an alliance consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand that was formed in 1961. The main objectives of the establishment of ASEAN was so that its members governing elite could concentrate on nation building, the common fear of communism, reduced faith in or mistrust of external powers in the 1960s, as well as a desire for economic development. At the early stages of the establishment of ASEAN, its member countries consisted of five Southeast Asia countries namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore. Its members increased to ten when all the countries in Southeast Asia joined ASEAN. The countries are Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia. Papua New Guinea was elected as the observer country because it is situated at the border of Indonesia but not in the Southeast Asia zone.

The ten stalks of paddy represent the dream of ASEAN's Founding Fathers for an ASEAN comprising all the ten countries in Southeast Asia bound together in friendship and solidarity. The circle represents the unity of ASEAN.

In November 1971, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur. In the meeting, a joint declaration was signed and was called the Kuala Lumpur Declaration. In the declaration, ASEAN member countries agreed to declare ASEAN countries as Zone of Peace, Free and Neutrality (ZOPFAN). The main objective of ZOPFAN is to maintain peace and political stability in Southeast Asia and also to not conspire with any Eastern or Western blocks to prevent intervention of higher forces.

The ZOPFAN concept was tested when Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 and overthrew the Khmer Rouge empire. ASEAN made efforts to overcome this problem by having a meeting to form Peoples Republic of Kampuchea under the leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. The meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1982 and as a result Vietnam agreed to the proposal. In 1984, ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting agreed that ASEAN is a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. The notice means this region does not allow ships to use its waters and harbours to transport nuclear substances or weapons. This declaration shows the world the commitment of the ASEAN countries towards the ZOPFAN concept

Role of Malaysia in Non Aligned Movement (NAM)

Non Aligned Movement or commonly known as NAM was established in September 1961 during the summit of the Cold War. Its me mbers consist of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. Its members consist of 113 countries, whereas 16 countries act as observer countries and 28 countries were invited guests. The main goal of NAM is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics.

Malaysia joined NAM in 1970, after Malaysia changed its policy from Pro -West and AntiCommunists to being in good terms with all countries. The basic principles of NAM are to avoid the intervention in the affairs of a country, to respect the sovereignty of a country and to resolve conflict through negotiation and understanding.

Malaysia made a few proposals to defend the interest of developing countries in the Seventh Summit of the Movement in New Delhi in 1987. The proposals made by Malaysia are the Palestine issue, economic cooperation and the Antarctic continent issue. In the Eight Summit of the Movement in Harare, Zimbabwe, Malaysia had proposed to eliminate the apartheid law that was practiced in South Africa.

Malaysia was also given the honour to become the vice president in the 16th Summit Assembly in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1989. Besides that, Malaysia was also elected as one of the 16 members who discuss cooperative issues of member countries. Malaysia has also hosted the 13th Summit of the Movement in 2003. The summit also recorded the highest participation with the presence of 63 member countries that is 31 Head Countries and 32 Head Governments.

In this summit, two new member countries were registered, namely East Leste and Catalina Island. An unofficial OIC meeting was also organized in the NAM summit. The Kuala Lumpur Declaration emphasizes on efforts to revive NAM and a joint notice regarding the situation of Palestine and the attack of United States of America on Iraq was released.

The logo of the Non Aligned Movement

Bibliography
1. Book Ramlahbinti Adam, et al., 2004, SejarahTingkatan 5, Kuala Lumpur: DewanBahasadanPustaka.

NazaruddinHj. MohdJalil, et al., 2003, Malaysian Studies: Nationhood and Citizenship, Kuala Lumpur: Pearson Prentice Hall.

2. Internet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement#Summits, 27 May 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASEAN, 24 May 2011 http://faizal-asean.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-asean-emblem-represents-stable.html, 1 June 2011 www.kln.gov.my, 26 May 2011 www.oic-oci.org, 5 May 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Malays ia, 28 May 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia, 29 May 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_of_the_Islami c_Conference, 29 May 2011