The Nation’s Survival on the World Stage
NOT ALL countries that have become independent have survived with peace and prosperity on the world stage and the history of various countries shows a variety of experiences.
Some are independent with their reduced size or divided into more than one country. Some were at enmity with their neighbors to such an extent that border wars broke out.
Some have been attacked by outside forces. Some had governments overthrown by outside influences. Some have suffered civil wars, genocides, ethnic cleansings, coups, etc. – which often involve external influences.
Some countries gained independence in a situation where there was a lack of indigenous leaders who could best manage the nation’s independence.
This is because the colonialists deliberately left the locals uneducated. Because, by colonizing, the colonizer did not want the people to be clever and rise up against him.
The colonizers also wanted that while they were to see the country as independent, but with a lack of capable leadership, then, it was hoped that the former colony would continue to depend on it.
There are independent nations that are part of organizations whose members are countries of certain former colonies, for example, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie.
During the Cold War, many newly independent countries had to side with the Western or Eastern blocs.
For Malaysia, since independence, the foreign policy objectives were clear, namely to safeguard its political, security, economic interests and its identity.
Although Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth, we are able to avoid many of the big problems faced by many countries that gained independence around the same time as our nation, and even became more developed than them.
We deal diplomatically with border issues with neighboring countries.
To ensure regional security, we play a key role in the establishment and subsequent progress of ASEAN.
We remain neutral and are a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and present ourselves as an independent Muslim majority country by being a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
As members of the United Nations (UN), we are free to speak out. We speak out on the issues of Palestine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, etc. From the conflict in Ukraine, we have our position.
We are also free to join and play a role in various international bodies on security, trade, education, health, environment, human rights, etc.
On international platforms, we have a principled position, in accordance with international law, independent and neutral, including when dealing with major powers. At the same time, we advocate for the reform of the UN and the international financial, trade, economic, security and other architecture to be more inclusive, free and fair.
Basically, in the face of various international challenges, we are doing our best as an independent nation.