The speech of the Malaysian Foreign Minister who said the Chinese as Elder Brother (Abang Besar) is inappropriate and unwise.
In the world of international relations, the language used can determine the policy and direction of relations between countries.
In the face of the challenge of the economic slowdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, vulnerable countries such as Malaysia must be vigilant in dealing with countries that tend to dominate other countries.
The terms used can give the impression that China is superior. The way a great power dominates another country is when the country shows itself as more abled and influential.
Competing countries such as China and the United States are looking for opportunities to use their economic strengths to dominate the Malaysian economy and are very passionate about offering various opportunities to Malaysia.
The fact is that big countries are looking for opportunities to attract as many small countries as possible that will fall victim to being exploited for the benefit of big countries.
What is clear is that the dominant state not only uses economic influence but it also brings together ideologies and values brought together.
We are worried that China under the communist party now competing with America, which wants to consolidate its influence, will use all its power to dominate the small country like Malaysia.
In that case it is wiser not to use language that could carry the implication that Malaysia will be under Chinese influence.
The latest initiative, namely the signing of an MOU between Malaysia and China, is nothing new. Various agreements were signed to strengthen bilateral relations. The principle of impartiality needs to be emphasized.
What is important is that a neutral foreign relations policy in the context of relations with major powers needs to be emphasized so that Malaysia does not become a country that is used for the benefit of any party.
In diplomatic relations, Malaysia should not be seen as overshadowed by any country, especially superpowers such as the US and China.
Meanwhile, there is the issue of territorial claims between China and Asean countries.
Malaysia should not show inclination towards China because the issue of the South China Sea is now an unresolved dispute. In fact many of China’s actions invite a potentially dangerous American response.
We must prevent the Asean region from becoming a battleground between the two super powers.
We are of the view that Malaysia should be cautious in its diplomatic relations in the face of competition between major powers trying to implement a policy of domination that does not take into account the interests of small countries.
Now China is passionate about building its influence in Africa and Asia. China’s geopolitical hegemony and economic dominance are now shaping global international relations.
Mohd Azmi Abdul hamid
President of MAPIM