Launching Ceremony Of The “Focus In Continuity: A Framework For Malaysia’s Foreign Policy In A Post-Pandemic World”

SPEECH BY
YAB DATO’ SRI ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB
PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
AT THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY OF THE
“FOCUS IN CONTINUITY: A FRAMEWORK FOR
MALAYSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD”
7 DECEMBER 2021 | 1:00 PM
LE MERIDIEN KUALA LUMPUR

BISMILLAHIRRAHMAANIRRAHIM
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam Keluarga Malaysia,

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah
Minister of Foreign Affairs Malaysia

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs Malaysia

Yang Berhormat-Yang Berhormat Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia, Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Alhamdulillah and all praises to Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, by whose Grace and Blessings, has enabled the launch of the Foreign Policy Framework by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia titled “Focus In Continuity: A Framework For Malaysia’s Foreign Policy In A Post-Pandemic World” to be carried out with numerous distinguished guests in our midst.

2. Congratulations Yang Berhormat Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and your whole team for dedicating laborious efforts to formulate, finalise and publish this Framework.

3. It will certainly set clear and focused steps for Malaysia’s foreign policy to achieve its ultimate goal – to foster a more peaceful and prosperous future for our beloved Keluarga Malaysia.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

4. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disastrous consequences to economies and fiscal stability worldwide. Many countries, Malaysia included, are still attempting to appropriately deal with the pandemic’s catastrophic aftermath.

5. While few countries have recovered, many countries remain severely challenged by the pandemic. As for Malaysia, we are at an inflection point and it is critical to set clear directions to move towards a collective future – for the sake of our Keluarga Malaysia.

6. I am adamant in ensuring that every policy and decision the Government undertakes would be made holistically in the best

interest of Keluarga Malaysia, with the ultimate aim of spearheading the nation towards full recovery.

7. It is, therefore, pertinent for Malaysia to strive in global recovery efforts and emerge as a resilient nation – economically, socially and politically – in the international arena. To achieve this, we would need to improve our resolve to strengthen international cooperation and multilateralism as well as have strong conviction that we are indeed a family of nations or world family.

8. With this in mind, I am pleased and heartened that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took positive and vigorous efforts to formulate this very important framework, which adopted the Whole-of-Government and Whole-of-Society method by employing the syura or consultative approach.

9. Rigorous engagements and consultations with relevant stakeholders, including the Consultative Council on Foreign Policy, resulted in the development of this inclusive and holistic document. A Special Select Committee on International Affairs has also been formed to broaden the engagements.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

10. With the central, overarching theme of “Focus In Continuity”, this Framework articulates Malaysia’s foreign policy priorities in the post-COVID-19 pandemic world. I have full confidence that it will be useful to Malaysian diplomats and other interested parties. It will also convey our foreign policy priorities clearly to Keluarga Malaysia as well as to friends of Malaysia, near and far.

11. Through the “Focus” sub-theme, the Framework has recognised key challenges that are plaguing us and the world in general, and managed to identify numerous emerging global trends as well as issues that should be given utmost priority in the immediate term:

(i) Firstly, revitalise Malaysia’s links to the global economy by focusing on establishing close cooperation with other countries on the international platform.

(ii) Secondly, pursue health diplomacy beyond the mere act of receiving or donating vaccine and other medical equipment. This would require Malaysia to be directly involved in the manufacturing and managing of the vaccine supply chain worldwide.

(iii) Thirdly, develop our digital economy which is one of Malaysia’s pivotal drivers for economic growth.

(iv) Fourth, shape international cybersecurity norms and laws to protect Malaysia’s national interests.

(v) Fifth, place emphasis on cultural diplomacy to enhance Malaysia’s unique national identity on the global stage while simultaneously promoting greater market access to Malaysian cultural products.

(vi) Sixth, promote peaceful coexistence between nations, people of different faith, religion and culture as well as upholding multilateralism. We believe that diversity, if accompanied by respect and mutual understanding, is a powerful tool to navigate our way towards a successful global recovery.

(vii) And finally, strive to enhance our undivided attention and commitment to achieve the goals laid out in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

12. Meanwhile, the Framework’s “Continuity” sub-theme serves as a clear nexus to the enduring principles of our foreign policy. Its clear pronouncement will serve as a reminder and guidance to all Malaysian foreign affairs practitioners that regardless of the evolving regional and international architecture, the cardinal principles of Malaysia’s foreign policy will remain consistent and unchanged.

13. Malaysia is a nation that subscribes to the strong belief of peaceful coexistence between nations. We will always favour peaceful resolution of disputes over display of military might.

14. Hence, Malaysia will not cease to pursue a pragmatic, independent, principled, and non-aligned foreign policy which revolves around the values of peace, justice and equality. We will continuously respect other nations’ independence, sovereignty as well as territorial integrity and advocate the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

15. However, as a responsible member of the world family, Malaysia will not hesitate to voice out our opinions, objections or reservations against callous and cruel acts of oppression, injustice as well as inhumanity.

16. I am confident that the Framework, being a pragmatic and holistic living document, will carve the path for Malaysia to emerge stronger and more resilient than before the pandemic, while at the same time allowing us to become an active and dynamic member of the international community.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

17. Before I conclude, allow me to once again congratulate Yang Berhormat Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the Consultative Council on Foreign Policy as well as all relevant stakeholders for your diligence and hard work in formulating, finalising and publishing this Framework.

18. On this note, it is with great honour and privilege that I officially launch the “Focus In Continuity: A Framework For Malaysia’s Foreign Policy In A Post-Pandemic World”.

Thank you and stay safe.

Wabillahi taufiq wal hidayah
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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