Malaysia’s Public Diplomacy
A newly exporting nation, Malaysia has experienced rapid economic development in the past 30 years, owing much of its success to an aggressive domestic production campaign and beneficial trade with many areas of the world. Strong education traditions, a prosperous ethnic Chinese business network, and a continued introduction of foreign business have only furthered Malaysia’s regional role. A strong member of ASEAN, Malaysia can continue to influence East Asian economic and trade goals, and with the development of ASEAN+3, be a major player of international affairs.
A primarily Muslim country, Malaysia has been increasingly vocal about the need to rectify international mistrust regarding the religion. On June 20, 2006, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar delivered a speech in Kuala Lumpur on the necessity to alleviate “Islamphobia�? among the global community. He calls on the Muslim population to make great efforts to build a common understanding between the world and Islam. Importantly, the Foreign Minister calls for an immediate stop to all actions that are detrimental to the Muslim image abroad. "Actions that contribute, directly or indirectly, to the perpetuation of injustice, oppression or aggression against Muslim countries and Muslims anywhere must be stopped with strategies and wisdom."
Malaysian Soft Power: Cuisine
Malaysia's government is not the first to identify the potential Soft Power of the culinary experience. The unique spicy and flavorful dishes which make up Malaysian cuisine reflects the multi-racial aspects of Malaysia (Malaysia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Asia with large Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Eurasian communities).
According to the government's statistics, there are just 376 Malaysian restaurants to feed the six billion people who live outside the country. In 2006, BBC News reported that the Malaysian government has set a target of raising that number to 8,000 by 2015.
The government is making a concerted effort to try to raise the country's international profile by offering businessmen cash incentives to open thousands of Malaysian restaurants around the world.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government will offer cheap loans, tax breaks and help with promotion so that, in his words, "Malaysia's name will be more renowned globally."
Intel & Malaysia
As the need to innovate and expand business markets continues its never ending quest, large industries seek both an educated workforce and a developed community in which to establish overseas production chains. Outsourcing of some domestic production has been incredibly beneficial to countries such as Malaysia, undermining the need to move abroad for meaningful and well-paid work. In the past half century, Intel has developed several key manufacturing and research sites throughout the nation. Intel Malaysia has brought high-tech jobs to much of the country, driving the electronics industry further, a major focus area of the country’s economy. Malaysia’s export-driven modernization since the early 1970s and its subsequent economic blossoming have meant the government can now play a more significant role in regional relations. Commercial and trade linkages such as Intel create a connection between nations, increasing the opportunities of Corporate Diplomacy.
- Population - 24,385,858 (July 2006 est.)
- Government – Constitutional Monarchy
- Capital – Kuala Lumpur
- Chief of State - Paramount Ruler Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin
- Prime Minister Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi
Publications, Speeches, & Commentary
- “Islamophobia�? delivered by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar. Kuala Lumpur, June 20, 2006.
International Broadcasting & Private News Organizations
- Malaysia Post
- South-South Information Gateway
- NAM News Network
- News Straits Times
- Malaysian National News Agency
- The Star Online
- LiveRadio.net Malaysia
- Di Bawah Rang Ikang Kering - Random Ramblings of a Retired Retainer
- TV Smith’s Dua Sen – Politics, News, and Randomness
- Malaysia Central = Listing of Malaysia Blogs
- BBC News: Malaysia has announced that it is hoping to find a short cut to the world's heart through its stomach
PbWinter 12:09, 20 Jun 2006 (PDT)