Prime Minister Najib: Malaysia must embrace middle power position in ASEAN

February 24, 2014

Prime Minister Najib: Malaysia must embrace middle power position in ASEAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia must embrace its position as one of the region’s middle powers, in its path towards becoming a developed nation by 2020.

NAJIB_RAZAK_091213_TMINAJJUA_05_540_360_100Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib  Razak said as a middle power, the nation will be expected to play a greater part  in Asia and to help Asia play a greater part in the world.

“Come 2020, Malaysia will be a developed country with far-flung and expanding interests. The international community, as well as our own public, will expect that we assume our share of the burden of responsibility and leadership.

“As a Middle Power, that means playing a greater part in Asia, and helping Asia play a greater part in the world,” he said in his keynote address at the 8th Heads of Mission Conference here today, which was attended by among others, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his deputy, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Najib said this meant Malaysia was continuing its commitment to ASEAN which groups 10 Southeast Asian countries.

“We swim or sink with our region. If we don’t have an influential voice here, we won’t have an influential voice anywhere,” he stressed.

Meanwhile Bernama reported, Najib said the most effective coalitions in the future will be those which involve both the developed and developing world.

In this regard, he said, Malaysia must be deft and nimble in building and participating in coalitions, seeking out those which shared its concerns. He said there was also a need at the same time to exercise leadership within the shared platforms which were needed to tackle multilateral problems.

“A stronger foreign policy establishment here in Malaysia, which brings together think-tanks, academic chairs and foundations will strengthen our hand when it comes to building coalitions for change,” Najib said.

Najib noted that Malaysia must react to the transformations around it with a transformation of its own, including having a foreign policy that would see the country through to 2020 when this country achieved a developed nation status, and beyond.

Najib also said Malaysia must devote adequate resources to strengthening its bilateral relations with neighbours and continue to value ASEAN as the fulcrum of peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

“Even as we undertake to do more, we must concentrate resources on initiatives that will generate the best returns, leading in areas that concern us the most, not aiming to be everything to everyone,” the Prime Minister said.

He said Kuala Lumpur must sharpen the way it conceived and executed the cooperation and assistance programmes it provided at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

“And we must assess the impact of such programmes more systematically to ensure they are effective and efficient,” he said.

In the speech, Najib noted that the factors which shaped Malaysia’s diplomacy — its dependence on trade, strategic location and demographic change — were in turn shaped by external trends

“And here the grounds beneath our feet are shifting as old assumptions are being overturned and new ones emerging.

“These global and regional trends ask that we adapt our diplomacy to fit the pressures and opportunities of a new century,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers keynotes address after opening conference on ‘Transforming Malaysia’s Diplomacy Towards 2020 and Beyond’ at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR). Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur. — NSTP/Yazit Razali

16 thoughts on “Prime Minister Najib: Malaysia must embrace middle power position in ASEAN

  1. Najib’s Foreign Policy is refreshing. I wish he could be tougher at home on domestic policy, using his powerful position for the good of our country. There must be peace and harmony at home.That should be his No.1 priority.–Din Merican

  2. Meanwhile his counterpart down south has been tough & transparent on the Little India riot happened over. I wonder where are Najib cojones? Sudah lari kah?

  3. Has anyone tried deciphering all those flowery sentences that Najib spewed out into plain English? Can anyone actually understand what he was really trying to say? I couldn’t. Really. I actually couldn’t understand what he was trying to say.

    He strings a lot of buzz words together, talks a lot about broad and general aspirations but nothing of substance to pin up his so-called “foreign policies strategy”. And WTF does “Middle Power” really mean?

    Perhaps, my English sucks. Would someone please tell me if I’ve gone nuts?

  4. 2020 is just 6 years away and Najib is going to transform Malaysia into a developed nation by then? and he wants to embrace ONLY the middle power role, why not higher?
    my blessings to your endeavour
    I wonder how much the taxpayer had to pay for this speech writer?
    while he plays the statesman role on the international stage his buffoons make a fool of themselves on the national stage. Malaysia boleh!

  5. Muthu,
    Your englishso no suck. The text is so well written that it cannot be put to practical use. Talk is cheap, text is just text and I am sure written by someone other than our Honorable PM.


    Because the text does not compliment the character of the person who is delivering it. So, it’s just words that never be put to actions. It just contradictions and nothing else. Many will agree there are no substance.

    So, please PM, take the cue from Dato Din and redirect your energy at home.

  6. Malaysia can never become a leader in the region, unless and until it embraces human right values .The workers rights laws sucks and employers are given a free hand to run slave camps with migrant workers..

    Even if all the good Koranic values are put together the big time employers will continue to exploit the powerless for their corporate greed. Asian culture does not lend itself to the principle a fair days pay for a fair days work principle.

    I just rescued a migrant worker who was LOCKED up in a cell for 5 days by TOP GLOVE , a company owned by one TAN SERI and what I have posted is based on live experience. The Police had to barge in and rescue the worker. Disgusting .

  7. It is oke if Ketuanan Melayu want to declare Malaysia as a developed country and middle power in ASEAN …+ (my sugestion) as center of Malay civilization world and also center of holy land …. Hehehehe

    But, don;t forget as a master of malay world … you have to return back Sabah and Sarawak to its “real” owner before 2020 …

  8. Well, Mr Chelliah:

    You can find out a person’s true character by how he or she treats
    people in “lowly” positions such as cleaners and maids.

    And you can find out how morally decayed a nation and its govt and “leaders” are by how they treat the “lowest” members of the society i.e. foreign workers, indigenous peoples. We have slave labour in
    Malaise-sia and we have Orang Asli living in destitution because their native and customary lands have been stolen by the kleptocratic regime and its rent-seeking allies.

  9. HUH? Its Gibberish to me.. What “middle power” – sounds more like a word to cop out when its too hard or not convenient enough..What kind of “middle power” when China is flexing its muscle that could crush everyone if it really want to. What “middle power” when Western economic interest really could by-pass us if we don’t participate?

  10. BigJoe,
    Jibby is no Sukarno la. You know Sukarno can much better yingeland than Najib. If Sukarno went kaput, you think jibby can do a much better job than sukarno

  11. The Foreign Policy of a Nation is by definition is an extension of national interest. The two sides must reinforce each other and underpinned by the rule of law. But it now appears that Foreign policy is now, hopefully, going to drive how we conduct ourselves as we are about reach developed status by the year 2020. To sustain that status we need to build strong institutions of government that promote national interest. Going by what is known to us today those countries that have been able to sustain their developed status built their nations on the principles of the four freedoms and the promotion of policies that allows individuals to race to the top based on equity and fair play..

  12. Pak Bean,
    Hisham the economist would say otherwise. Anyway, just wanna know the legality differences between MoU & MoA. To me, MoU means that it’s just a formal gentleman agreement that’s not cast in stone. Which can alter. Ah so, Khalid Ibrahim’s MoU is not a final agreement & subject to change…….Right?

    Guys & Gals,
    One lovely song by Al Stewart! Trains! The ending is kinda haunting. Al Stewart must be a great poet! Try to listen to the lyrics

    I suppose that there’s nothing in this life remains the same
    Everything is governed by the losses and the gains
    Still sometimes I get caught up in the past, I can’t say why
    All our lives are just a smudge of smoke, or just a breath of wind against the sky”

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