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20210901 - PRESS STATEMENT BY YB FM

I extend my humblest appreciation to His Majesty Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong for consenting to my appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I also extend my profound gratitude to YAB Prime Minister Dato' Seri Ismail Sabri for the trust placed in me by appointing me to lead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). I take this opportunity to convey my highest appreciation and gratefulness to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his confidence in me to head the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) previously.


In line with YAB Prime Minister's directive for a productive first 100 days in office, my immediate task is to establish the foreign policy framework for this administration. This framework will provide guidance on Malaysia’s direction, focus and approaches on foreign policy. It is not a new foreign policy. The central theme is "focus in continuity".


'Continuity' will look at the medium to long term. Malaysia will continue to practice its long-held fundamental principles in its international relations. For example, maintaining good relations with all parties; upholding Malaysia's interests in terms of sovereignty, survival, and security; its economic interests and the rakyat's prosperity; and protecting as well promoting the nation's identity and reputation among the international community.


'Focus' will deal with short-term priorities and challenges. To manage the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, we will focus primarily on 'health diplomacy'. For the economy, we will emphasise on investments in the digital economy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. Cybersecurity will be a security focal point. We will also promote 'cultural diplomacy' to boost our national identity. As for world peace, we will articulate the concept of 'peaceful coexistence' in the context of multilateralism.


We at MOFA will adopt an open and consultative (Syura) approach with all stakeholders, be it at home or overseas. This includes enhancing the role of the business sector and civil society. To this end, I will establish a Foreign Policy Consultative Council, which will include MOFA officials, academicians, businessmen and civil society representatives. The first meeting will be held on 3 September 2021. In addition, I will propose to the Cabinet to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee on International Affairs.

 


DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH

1 SEPTEMBER 2021