The Foreign Minister's Diminished Role


Penang Monthly reviews the conduct of foreign policy under the Najib Abdul Razak government and compares the new Foreign Minister’s performance with that of three former Foreign Ministers. The conclusion is, it is high time that Malaysia, via Wisma Putra, tries to punch above its weight as it has done in the past, by capitalising on its unique status as a Muslim-majority, multicultural state.

Recently the Foreign Minister and foreign policy became the subject of a rare debate and heated exchange in the Malaysian Parliament. The issue which sparked the exchange in midMarch 2012 was the Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s alleged support for relations with Israel while opposition members on their part berated Foreign Minister Anifah Aman for being “absent” in the face of the surfacing of major foreign policy issues in Syria, Myanmar and Palestine.

There have been at least two major commentaries on the conduct of foreign policy in Malaysia.

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