MALAYSIAN MISSIONS OVERSEAS
The Role of Malaysian Missions Abroad
Malaysia maintains diplomatic relations with countries and international organisations through 111 missions in 85 countries abroad. This includes 66 embassies, 18 high commissions, 2 permanent representatives to UN, 1 permanent representative to ASEAN, a Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre as well as 21 consulate general offices and 2 consulate offices. A few of these missions are concurrently accredited to neighbouring countries while others are accredited to international organisations based in their respective host countries.Malaysian Missions overseas help to enhance Malaysia’s international profile and serve as strategic mechanisms for the achievement of Malaysia’s national interests and for implementing its foreign policy mandate.
Overseas Missions are the institutional extension of the Government of Malaysia in maintaining good relations with foreign countries and international organisations such as the UN and its organs, ASEAN and OIC. The main roles of the Missions include conducting activities that promote friendly relations with the host government and lobby in the interest of Malaysia. Missions also gather useful political, economic and other information, news, activities that might have possible impact on Malaysia’s national interests.
In addition, Missions play an important role in conducting negotiations with host countries on a wide range of issues. It is a well known fact that most negotiations between host and sending Government are conducted through diplomatic Missions. As such, Malaysian Heads of Mission have a crucial role to play in ensuring the successful outcome of any negotiations that would be beneficial to Malaysia.
Malaysian Missions are also responsible for arranging and coordinating incoming and outgoing visits involving Heads of State / Government, Ministers and senior officials as well as other delegations.
As the initial point of contact, Missions have a vital role in projecting a positive image of Malaysia overseas. Malaysian Missions overseas are also acting as the main communication channel for Agencies in Malaysia to promote Malaysia in various spheres including trade and investment, cultural exchanges, tourism as well as promoting education opportunities in Malaysia.
As the primary Government entity abroad, it is important that Missions project a coherent, effective and unified image in their host countries. Within this framework, Missions are the principal representative of the Government of Malaysia abroad. Therefore, there is a need for better coordination and implementation among Government Agencies abroad, under the ambit of Konsep Organisasi Bersepadu (Joint Organisation Concept) as provided for in Surat Pekeliling Am Bilangan 7, Tahun 1987.
In addition to the Embassies, High Commissions, Permanent Missions, Consulates General and Consulates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed prominent individuals in foreign countries to assist Malaysia in achieving its policy of forging greater people to people contact, enhancing trade and economic activities and extending consular assistance.
In this respect, the Ministry has appointed 49 Honorary Consuls in major cities in 42 countries across the globe to realise these objectives. The Honorary Consuls support Malaysia’s Missions abroad especially in cities beyond the capital where the Embassy is usually located.
Diplomatic Ranks at Malaysian Missions Overseas
Heads of Mission:
Ambassador / High Commissioner/ Permanent Representative
Consul General / Charge d’ Affaires / Consul / President
Home Based Officers:
Attaché / Commissioner
Consul / Vice Consul