Thursday, 21 August 2014
 
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ISSUES IN MALAYSIA-JAPAN RELATIONS UNDER THE ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI’S ADMINISTRATION

Md. Nasrudin Md. Akhir
 

On October 31, 2003 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi succeeded Dr. Mahathir Mohammad as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia through an organized process of transformation of power in a politically stable situation. Malaysia’s encouraging economic growth, coupled with a trade surplus balance inherited since taking over the reigns of power, enabled Abdullah to further build upon economic and trade policies that had been laid the tracks by Dr. Mahathir. Although Abdullah does not have a distinct foreign policy on Japan like Dr. Mahathir’s “Look East Policy”, nonetheless since Malaysia has already cultivated a positive and amicable relationship as well as sound bilateral trade and investment linkages with Japan for the past decades, it is believed that Kuala Lumpur- Tokyo relations will continue to strengthen. In the four years of Abdullah’s administration, Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo’s bilateral relations is seen as a continuation of the policy brought forth by Dr. Mahathir and in sustaining the existing status quo. This article discusses some important issues in Malaysia-Japan relations under the Abdullah’s administration focusing on politics and diplomacy, trade and investment as well as the socio-cultural relations between the two countries.

 
For more information about this article, please contact : MD NASRUDIN BIN MD AKHIR



KERJASAMA DAN KONFLIK DALAM HUBUNGAN MALAYSIA-INDONESIA

Ruhanas Harun
 

Malaysia dan Indonesia merupakan dua buah negara berjiran yang mempunyai pertalian sejarah, rumpun bangsa, bahasa dan kebudayaan yang rapat. Hubungan mereka dianggap seperti hubungan "abang-adik" yang bercirikan bukan sahaja dengan keakraban, tetapi juga oleh pertengkaran seperti kebiasaan dalam hubungan keluarga. keakraban ini digambarkan melalui pepatah Melayu: "Air dicincang tak akan putus" dan "Biduk lalu kiambang bertaut". Namun dalam hubungan antarabangsa, kepentingan negara mengatasi kepentingan persaudaraan. Ini menyebabkan negara-negara bersaing dan berusaha untuk mencapai objektif masing-masing seperti kepentingan keselamatan, keutuhan wilayah, kekuatan ekonomi, dan pengaruh polotik. Dalam mencapai objektif nasional ini, maka berlakulah pertembungan kepentingan yang membentuk hubungan negara-negara bebas dan berdaulat. Hubungan dua hala Malaysia-Indonesia juga tidak terlepas daripada cabaran-cabaran dan masalah, terutamanya di peringkat awal.

Hubungan yang terjalin sejak lama itu telah melalui beberapa tahap perkembangan yang mencerminkan perkembangan politik dalaman dan persekitaran antarabangsa. Pada peringkat awal, iaitu selepas kedua-dua negara mencapai kemerdekaan, hubungan mereka melalui masa yang mencabar. Ini kerana kedua-duanya baharu sahaja bebas daripada penjajahan yang selama ini mempengaruhi hubungan luar mereka. Malaysia dan Indonesia cuba mengukuhkan hubungan persaudaraan di samping menyesuaikan diri dengan status negara merdeka dalam arena antarabangsa. Cabaran juga datang daripada politik, ekonomi, dan keselamatan Barat dirantau ini. Seperti yang dinyatakan oleh Dr. Subandrio dalam satu ucapan pada 20 Januari 1963, bahawa Indonesia "tidak dapat tidak terpaksa menggunakan dasar konfrontasi menentang Malaysia kerana pada masi ini mereka sendiri adalah menjadi pembantu kuasa-kuasa neo-kolonialis dan neo-imperialis dengan mengikuti suatu dasar yang bermusuhan terhadap Indonesia."

 
For more information about this article, please contact : MD NASRUDIN BIN MD AKHIR



NEW DIRECTIONS IN MALAYSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY: FROM TUNKU TO ABDULLAH BADAWI

Ahmad Mokhtar Selat
 

Since the days of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's foreign policy has consistently been promised on national interest, pragmatism and adherence to the principles enunciated in the Charter of the United Nations. Continual changes were made over the years to suit changing environment as Malaysia's foreign policy had never been associated with any dogma or ideology. The Constitution of Malaysia, unlike the constitutions of some developing countries, does not stipulate the principles of foreign policy to meet the changing needs of it national interest.

 
For more information about this article, please contact : AHMAD MOKHTAR SELAT



THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN MALAYSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY

K.S. Balakrishnan
 

Civil society's influence on public policy is not a recent phenomenon. In the developed countries, this phenomenon is obviously backed by some powerful capitalist ventures in order to promote liberal values. Developing countries on the other hand are now confronting this new reality in a rather ambiguous manner. More so when non-state forces are challenging the state and its governance. With globalisation, more areas of government policies are under scrunity. Foreign and security policies remain the last bastion that is succumbing to this development.

In developing countries these areas have remained under the grip of state and its ruling elites. Such scenarios are slowly changing. These changes can be witnessed even in Malaysia despite some scholars regard the government to be in full control. This paper will examine the  emergence of civil society forces in influencing Malaysia's foreign policy. It will first outline a theoretical framework on the subject. Later, it will discuss selected major themes of civil society involvement in the realm of foreign policy. While cases brought into the deliberation may be few in numbers, it will be sufficient to demonstrate the way in which civil society discourse impinges on Malaysia's foreign policy. The paper argues that civil society is becoming a significant force despite all criticism in foreign policy matters. Sometimes their agenda coincides with the state's.

Tun Abdul Razak's arrival to the foreign policy scene was mainly seen as directing the nation into neutrality. The withdrawal of Britain from regional and global commitment forced Malaysia to re-strategise and adopt a more neutral foreign policy. The neutralisation of Southeast Asia and the declaration of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality in 1971 in Kuala Lumpur through ASEAN have often been seen as a manifestation of Razak's initiative in balancing Malaysia's foreign policy. To add further to the course of the balancing act, Razak established diplomatic relations with China in 1974. On the whole neutrality, finding alternatives and reducing tension with the communist states comprised Tun Abdul Razak's foreign policy framework. It is also important to understand the fact that Razak's priority was mainly in consolidating the internal politics and policies of the country that was severely affected by the 1969 riot.

 
For more information about this article, please contact : BALAKRISHNAN A/L R.K.SUPPAIAH



MALAYSIA, KOMANWEL DAN PENGURUSAN ISU-ISU ANTARABANGSA

Roy Anthony Rogers
 

Malaysia telah menjadi ahli negara-negara Komanwel semenjak kemerdekaannya pada 1957. Suatu ketika dahulu Komanwel telah menjadi pertubuhan yang kedua penting dalam dasar luar Malaysia selepas Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (PBB).  Bagaimanapun menjelang tahun 1980-an, ia telah menjadi tempat keempat. Sejarah hubungan Malaysia dengan Komanwel boleh dianggap unik kerana sungguhpun Malaysia telah beberapa kali mengkritik peranan serta kewibawaannya secara terbuka, namun Malaysia tetap merupakan salah satu anggota Komanwel yang paling aktif dalam persidangan-persidangan yang dianjurkan oleh Komanwel. Malahan Malaysia pernah menjadi tuan rumah kepada Persidangan Ketua-ketua Kerajaan Komanwel atau Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) pada tahun 1989 serta Sukan Komanwel pada 1998. Dasar luar Malaysia semenjak kemerdekaan telah dipengaruhi oleh keanggotaanya dalam Komanwel.

Pada masa Perang Dingin, iaitu semasa permusuhan antara blok Timur dengan Barat terutama pada 1960-an hubungan Malaysia dengan Komanwel adalah erat. Hubungan ini meliputi tiga aspek yang utama, yakni keselamatan, ekonomi serta pembangunan. Namun, pada masa kini hubungan Malaysia dengan Komanwel lebih tertumpu dalam aspek kerjasama ekonomi. Selain itu, Komanwel juga berperanan sebagai forum antarabangsa bagi negara-negara membangun bersuara.

Komanwel pernah berfungsi sebagai landasan bagi Malaysia untuk menyuarakan pendapatnya di peringkat antarabangsa. Isu-isu utama yang pernah disuarakan oleh Malaysia melalui Komanwel adalah penentangan dasar Aparteid, dadah, alam sekitar, hubungan antara negara-negara membangun dengan negara-negara maju. Bab ini membincangkan peranan Komanwel sebagai platform bagi malaysia dalam menyuarakan isu-isu antarabangsa. Malaysia ingin mewujudkan suatu imej yang positif serta dilihat sebagai "jaguh" dikalangan negara membangun. Maka, Komanwel merupakan salah satu landasan yang telah digunakan bagi mencapai objektif ini. Di samping itu, bab ini bertujuan untuk mengkaji dampaknya terhadap masyarakat antarabangsa.

 
For more information about this article, please contact : ROY ANTHONY ROGERS A/L PETER ROGERS



MALAYSIA AND THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES

Wan Sharina Ramlah Wan Ahmad Amin Jaffri
 

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which was signed in 1947 (hereinafter referred to as "the GATT 1947) was part of an effort to establish the International Trade Organization (ITO) which was complement the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to make up the international economic regimes responsible in restructuring and redeveloping the world economy after the Second World War (collectively were to be the Bretton Woods System). It had always been in the agenda of all signatories of the GATT 1947 that the agreement was to be incorporated as part of the supposedly forthcoming ITO Charter. However, when the US Congress failed to commit to the establishment of the organization, the ITO initiatives were abandoned and the GATT 1947 became the only point of references for trade matters for many years that followed.

Even though in its early years the GATT 1947 was seen to be a success and to a certain extent was functioning as a credible "peace-maker" in international trade disputes, it soon started to lose its competency in dealing with trade issues which were becoming more complex in an increasingly globalized world. The growing number of players in the international trade arena meant that a solid institution was needed to ensure that trade issues and disputes were dealt with in consistent and predictable ways.

The GATT 1947 was also seen to becoming more and more of a tool used by developed countries to enhance their economic influence over less developed nations. More and more of the latter felt that the agreement which was signed way back in 1947 did not take into account their special needs and economic circumstances as some of the countries only came into being and/ or gained their independence after 1947. They felt that the agreement had not taken into consideration their special developmental requirements. The GATT 1947, they believed, only catered for the industrialized nations of the West and it was only fair for them to be given the chance to contribute and give inputs on how international trade should be regulated and administered to also benefit them.

 
For more information about this article, please contact : WAN SHARINA RAMLAH WAN AHMAD AMIN JAFFRI

 
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