Malaysia to play more active role in global affairs: Saifuddin

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Malaysia is ready to play a more active role in global affairs in a bid to make the world more peaceful, fair and prosperous, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

In his 2019 new year message themed ‘Towards a more Peaceful, Fair and Prosperous World’, the minister said Wisma Putra would actively participate on the world’s stage through international organisations, such as the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), ASEAN and other groups that influence international laws, conventions and rules.

“In organisations where we are already members, we will participate by making decisions, leading discussions and sponsoring resolutions.

“Where we are not yet members, we will push to influence decisions, and shape the discourse on emerging issues where we have cultivated local expertise,” he said.

Saifuddin said one such issue was the South China Sea which concerned the security and sustenance of many neighbouring nations.

“Should it remain an area of peace, friendship and trade, rather than one of confrontation and conflict, ASEAN and the rest of the world can leverage on our strategic location and each ASEAN member’s economic advantage,” he said.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah meets students of Astana Secondary School in a ceremony to mark the start of the new academic year. – BERNAMA

The minister said the New Malaysia would also use its voice to cultivate intra-ASEAN trade, in line with its philosophy ‘Prosper Thy Neighbour’.

“We believe that by developing indigenous capacities, we as a region can strengthen our common market of 640 million people and ultimately transform ASEAN into a production hub – not just for ourselves, but also for the global market, bringing shared prosperity to all,” he said.

However, Saifuddin said in order to play an active role internationally, Malaysia must be a model in ensuring stability at home and setting an example for democratic and economic development for other like-minded nations.

He said Malaysia cannot be effective if its policies abroad contradict the expectations and realities at home.

“As a multi-racial and multi-religious nation, the unity of Malaysia’s diverse population is its trademark and strength.

“The Federal Constitution should be interpreted and implemented with wisdom, taking into consideration the historical background, the social contract, and the best options for governing the nation,” he added.