I am the Chairman of the PKR International Bureau, and my office engages diplomats and also track and formulate foreign policies. For matters of international trade my office works with YB Wong Chen’s Investment and Trade Bureau.
Today I would like to do two things:
1. Discuss a bit of history of Malaysian diplomacy and foreign policy; and
2. Challenge the Foreign Minister Hanifah Aman to give geo-political explanations for pursuing TPPA.
Unlike his father, PM Najib’s administration seems to take a more aggressive form of foreign policy that take sides on matter of superpower disputes.During his father’s tenure as PM, Tun Razak visited China in 1974 and the two countries established diplomatic relations. This was a massive breakthrough in Malaysian foreign policy, setting the tone that we are committed to the non-aligned movement and that we can think for ourselves beyond the cold war rhetoric.
During the tenure of Dr Mahathir, we cemented our position as a leader of the third world country committed to non-aligned and fiercely critical of the US handling of the Isreali –Palestinian conflict. This foreign policy stance did not change during the Badawi administration.
During Tun Razak and Tun Mahathir’s tenure, the super powers were US and Russia. Our diplomats then were most skilful and have done a wonderful job to ensure that we remained steadfastly neutral, avoiding taking sides.
This style of foreign policy paid off and we saw tremendous economic growth in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The premise of our foreign policy is to remain neutral and be friends with all, the hallmark of a trading nation. Today, China is an emerging super power. Its recent activities in the South China Sea are raising alarm bells. However China is also now our number one trading partner. What should be our foreign policy now, moving forward?
I demand the Foreign Minister Hanifah Aman to give us clear answers on Malaysian geo-political stance. If the TPPA does not benefit us economically, then how does it benefit us geo-politically? I would also like to invite both Tun Mahathir and Tun Badawi to give their learned views and opinions on the matter of geo-politics. What motivated Tun Mahathir from taking a strong policy stand in WTO against American economic demands? What considerations motivated Tun Badawi from not signing the US FTA?
Hanifah should also explain what geo-political factors are motivating him to pursue the TPPA.
YB Gooi Hsiao Leung
Member of Parliament for Alor Setar
Chairman of PKR International Bureau