Malaysia’s Foreign Policy: Romance with China ala Duterte

November 3, 2016

Malaysia’s Foreign Policy: Romance with China ala Rody Duterte


Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and China's Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, November 1, 2016. — Reuters pic

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and China’s Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, November 1, 2016. — Reuters pic

Malaysia will embrace governments which respect the sovereignty of other states as the era of foreign intervention is over, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak said today as he looks to strengthen ties with China.

In an editorial in a Chinese state-run paper, China Daily the Prime Minister sought to explain his administration’s move to increase trade and cooperation with China, pointing out the both countries have had a long history of cooperation dating back to the Malacca Sultanate.

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“More generally, we believe it is incumbent upon larger countries to treat smaller ones fairly. And this includes former colonial powers. It is not for them to lecture countries they once exploited on how to conduct their own internal affairs today.

“Malaysia and China are united in agreeing on the need to defend the sovereignty of the nation state and in the belief that the individual histories, values and governance systems of different countries must be respected,” Najib wrote.

The PM stressed that it is important for “global institutions” to reflect the views of countries which were given no say in the” legal and security infrastructure” that was set up by the victors of the Second World War.

“This is why we welcome China’s initiative in creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We need new institutions for a new era: of peaceful dialogue, not foreign intervention in sovereign states, and of ‘win-win’ cooperation that benefits all, not just the few,” Najib added.

Calling it the “Asian Century”, Najib said that China and Malaysia must continue working on the partnership forged by his father, the late Tun Abdul Razak in 1974, as well as the ties originally established by the early Ming Dynasty when the first Chinese trade envoys arrived in Melaka centuries ago.

Najib added that relations between China and Malaysia is one based on mutual trust and respect, although there are issues where the two may not agree with.

“When it comes to the South China Sea, we firmly believe that overlapping territorial and maritime disputes should be managed calmly and rationally through dialogue, in accordance with the rule of law and peaceful negotiations,” he said.

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Najib is currently on a six-day official visit to China.Malaysian and Chinese companies made history with the signing of 14 agreements worth RM144 billion.

PM Najib had said the amount was the biggest ever recorded in conjunction with his official visit overseas, and it was a historic achievement.

11 thoughts on “Malaysia’s Foreign Policy: Romance with China ala Duterte

  1. Malaysia di gadaikan ?

    1Malaysia’s foreign and domestic policies —
    “of MO1, by MO1, for MO1 (and MO1’s political survival)”

  2. Lu tolong Gua, Gua Tolong Lu. Pendatangs no need to balek Tongsan, Malaysia is now a province of Tongsan courtesy of Comrade Jibby. Comrade Tzahid can go back to Jowo.

    Communist Chin Peng remains cannot be returned and buried in Malaysia but Comrade Xi and billions of communist Chinese including China Dolls welcome with open arms, no visa needed, just walk in.

    Razak Exchange renamed Comrade La Zak Exchange. Bandar Malaysia renamed Kwangtung Parade. Malaysians will soon go around greeting each other Ni How Ma instead of Apa Khabar or Salams. Revival of Hang Li Poh, Hang Too Ah and Hang Jie Bat and Bukit China in Melaka will be the center. First warship bought from China will be named Admiral Cheng Ho.

    To accommodate the Red Shirts demand Petaling Street will no longer be known as Chinatown but Melayu Town. Oh, the red shirts will have the sickle and hammer emblem or yellow stars on them. Sam Foo and Cheong Sam will be the new national dress for ladies. The Baju Melayu will now have Mandarin Collar and Mandarin buttons complete with Kung Fu shoes.

    Mandarin will be compulsory language beside Bahasa Malaysia and all road signs and business sign boards must carry the Chinese characters lest the Chinese tourist have difficulties reading them. 8 o’clock news will be in Mandarin and the BM news will be at 11 pm. The Yuan and Renminbi will be accepted as Legal Tender while the Ringgit will remain “Tak sah diperlakukan di luar Malaysia”

    This is interesting development.

  3. “Individual governance systems must be respected” Even a dysfunctional one steeped in high corruption and cronyism?

    “When it comes to the South China Sea, we firmly believe that overlapping territorial and maritime disputes should be managed calmly and rationally through dialogue, in accordance with the rule of law and peaceful negotiations,” Whose rule of law – that of countries in dispute or international law and norms ? Why was “international law” conspicuously left out?

    The signing of 14 agreements worth RM144 billion. Wow! – a massive amount in the cookie jar to pilfer and line the pockets.

    With so much debts already accumulated and payments to be made for these new loans, the next PM, whether from BN or Opposition pact, will have to scrape the bottom of the barrel even to remain afloat, if at all.

  4. It is not fair to compare Najib with Duterte. I believe Duterte has genuine interests of his country and people in mind when he went to China. He does not want the American to use Philippines as the cannon fodder to confront China. If war broke out in the South China Sea between the US and China, the Philippines is the real loser. Najib goes to China, he may have the nation’s interest in mind, but his main purpose is trying to save his own political ass. He is hoping his visit will be successful, boosting his image and enhancing his re-election chances. He needs to pay cash handouts and other perks he has promised his supporters. One may also wonder if Najib’s thirst for Chinese money will be slaked by some timely deposits in his hidden bank accounts.

    After Aung San Suu Kyi, then Duterte, and now Najib, I am not surprised that more ASEAN nations will tilt toward China, but that does not mean they will dump America. Singapore, the pseudo-ally of the US, will be isolated more and more within ASEAN, may be with the only friend of Vietnam. ASEAN countries know who the true instigator in the South China Sea really is. The US has fought futile wars over the last 30 years while China has not fought one since 1979. I believe more countries will follow to reduce ties with the US and improve ties with China as they realize that peace and trade are profits while wars and occupations are expenses.

    A Chinese maxim is: “If you want to get rich, build a road.” China has a Silk Road Economic Belt that covers the whole Eurasia, an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that unites Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Europe into a huge trading block, which will enable them to do business not only with the rich countries, like at the present, but also with the poor ones. Aung San Suu Kyi and Duterte saw this opportunity. I believe Najib, too.

    40% of the global trade goes through the Strait of Malacca. So it is natural for Malaysia to want some of the profits from the trade. China is planning to increase its trade from $7.5 trillion in 2015 to $18.75 trillion in 2020. Malaysia wants some of those profits to go to Malaysia just like Philippines wants to increase its trade profits. When China helps Malaysia to build the third Klang harbor at Carey Island, that will take away a lot of business from Singapore. Now it depends on how Singapore plays its cards.

    I strongly believe more Southeast Asian countries will follow in favor of peaceful trade and economic development with China. Again, that does not mean they are dumping the US. It may not have to be a zero-sum game, depending on how the US plays its cards.

  5. Even with “Romance” or sustained relationship, it has got to have meaningful values in “Shared Benefits of Responsibilities and Resources” (SaBoR).

    Whether Malaysia is dealing with foreign countries,( China,USA or others,)or with issues from within the country,it also needs to be Inclusive in order the people will benefit ultimately from the RM 144 b worth of trade inked.

  6. The ECRL project is clearly more plans to siphon off more money to pay for his fiasco. The East Coast Highway or LPT has been losing money and continue to lose money. A rail project clearly is money losing – and clearly overpriced, means it will have to be bailed out. The project was suppose to be far in the future, why brought forward except to bail out Najib.

  7. The Chinese classic novel, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, must be Najib’s bedtime reading now.

    Just substitute “USA”, “China” & “Malaysia” for the classical Kingdoms in the novel and the story comes alive.

  8. Wayne,
    Oh come on! You are overestimating Jibby. Ask that dog/ canis lupus flamiaris for second opinion. Me, I bet Jibby is writing his Malaysia version “Mein Krampf”. Seems to be plenty of crazy people out there.

    Guys and Gals,
    Time to read up on Adam Curtis’s take on The power of Nightmare

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