A new Foreign Policy Framework was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad yesterday, with Putrajaya declaring its intention to not shy away from speaking up against regional or global breaches of human rights and inequality.

A year after the shocking victory of Malaysia’s opposition in elections on may 9th returned the country’s longest-serving premier Mahathir Mohamad to power, the general foreign policy approach of the new Pakatan Harapan government is gradually becoming clearer amid a mix of continuity and change. As we hear more about the PH government’s foreign policy, whether it be in terms of specific issues or focus areas or the articulation of what officials have been terming a new foreign policy framework.

Themed “Change in Continuity”, is also poised to turn Malaysia into a more influential and respected voice regionally and in the global political arena, while at the same time not abandoning its internal interests.

The framework also assures that national interests concerning national security, the economic prosperity of the nation, and its identity as the nation and position within the Muslim world would not be adversely affected.

Dr.Mahathir said that Malaysia would continue to pursue an independent, principled and pragmatic foreign policy, founded on the value of peace, humanity, justice, and equality.

He said the country will continue to maintain friendly relations with all countries and seek peaceful resolution of disputes based on the international law and norms.

The framework will guide Malaysia in the conduct of its foreign policy through active participation in discussions at various international fora where Malaysia is already a member and to influence decision-making processes at various international fora where Malaysia is not a member, as well as to shape the discourse on emerging issues such as Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) and the blue economy.

Describing the framework as a living document, the prime minister said he is confident the 80-page framework will also become a valuable source of reference not just for Malaysian diplomats but to all parties interested in Malaysia’s foreign policy.

The challenges are huge and the stakes are high. Malaysia will nevertheless remain steadfast in pursuing its foreign policy goals based on the principles of justice and fairness. I am optimistic that we will be able to achieve these goals.

Mahathir also said that while the realm of foreign policy in the international sphere, it cannot be detached from the domestic realities

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