Analyze The Policies Of Tun Abdul Razak Period History Essay
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On the other hand, he also established agencies such as the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), Malayan Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), and Council of Indigenous People's Trust (Majlis Amanah Rakyat, MARA). Furthermore, he changed Malaysia's socioeconomic landscape through the New Economic Policy (NEP) during his premiership. This New Economic Policy was aiming at eliminating poverty and restructuring society by focusing not only on rural development, but also on education. Tun Abdul Razak played an important role in reestablishing the public identity of Malayan as he was also closely involved in the formation of Malaysia and its reconciliation with Indonesia. Due to his contribution to Malaysia and the public especially in development, he is known as the Father of Development.
An Overview of Foreign Policy of Malaysia
Since Independence, a variety of geographical, historical, social and political factors contribute to the shaping of Malaysia's foreign policy that includes the conduct of the country's international relations. The various determinants have become increasingly important in line with globalisation and in the advancement of communication and information technology (ICT). Although the nature of the foreign policy of our country is changing by time, the basic objective remains the same, which is to pursue the national interest at the international level and to ensure the continued prosperity and stability of our country.
Examining Malaysia's foreign policy since 1957, it is obvious that there are evolutionary changes characterised by notable differences in emphasis, which occurs with the change in Malaysia's political stewardship and the need for political, economical and social stability. Under Tunku Abdul Rahman, our first Prime Minister, Malaysia is one of the anti-Communist and pro-western countries that also has close links to the Commonwealth due to the close adherence and relationship between British and us. After Tunku Abdul Rahman, we began to approach a foreign policy based on non-alignment, neutralization and peaceful co-existence, marked by it involvement in Non- Alignment Movement (NAM). Under Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia began to identify itself as a "Muslim nation" in accordance with its involvement in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Trying to achieve true independence by seeking out friends beside British, Malaysia started to encourage investments from sources other than British. During Tun Hussein Onn's premiership, Malaysia played an important role as a member of ASEAN regarding the issue of the collapse of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in 1975, the withdrawal of the US military presence from Southeast Asia and the invasion of Kampuchea (now Cambodia) by Vietnam. Malaysia's foreign policy began to change dramatically when Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohammad took over as the fourth Prime Minister in 1981. It became more economy- oriented than what it had used to be, in line with its focus on building up a strong and nationalistic defense of the rights, interests and aspirations of developing countries. Under Tun Dr. Mahathir, there were a number of new initiatives, including treating Antarctica as the common heritage of mankind, the look east policy (LEP) that encourages Malaysians to learn from the positive values of Japanese and Koreans, reverse investment, East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC), Group of 15 (G15) - ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Co-operation, Islamic Unity and the championing of the cause of developing countries on major issues like environment, human rights, and democracy. Dato' Seri Abdulah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi has served as prime Minister and becomes the chairman of OIC, ASEAN, NAM for a period of time.
Different foreign policy that comes under different prime ministers reflects a pragmatic response to the geopolitical and economic changes from time to time. A combination of being static but alterable according to the distinct needs at different moment as the main feature of our country's foreign policy is a reflection of the development and maturation of our country in the conduct of its international affairs. In fact, in several occasions, Malaysia's leadership has been recognised as one of the most influential. Malaysia has proved that it has possessed the quality of independence by depending less on foreign aid and courageous. Gradually, Malaysia has gained its fame as a politically, economically and socially stable country mainly due to its foreign policy.
In short, Malaysia seeks to maintain the bilateral relations with almost all countries by upholding the principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect for territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes as well as mutual benefit in relations and peaceful co-existence.
Re- Alignment in Foreign Policy
The suspension of Parliament after the crisis of May 13th 1969 entailed the administration of the country by an emergency body, the National Operations Council (NOC/ MAGERAN), for a period of four years. Starting from May 1969, Tun Abdul Razak was considered as the Head of Government due to his position as the Director of Operations of NOC. However, he was reluctant to make any changes on the foreign policy as long as Tunku Abdul Rahman was still holding the premiership. Yet, he was convinced that Malaysia's foreign policy which was then revolving around the pro- western democracies, could no longer sustain Malaysia's needs. Once he took over the premiership, the foreign policy agenda of a politically reconstructed Malaysia was to be put in place then.
The new Administration was clearly at pains to regain domestic (both Malaysia and non-Malay) and international confidence in Malaysia's viability as a multiethnic state. The serious challenge to government's ability to govern Malaysian society caused a significant review of policies. The introduction of new strategies represented the first observable attempts to employ foreign policy to a domestic political purpose, to increase the stability and balance of economic and political dominance among all races. For example, the development of more extensive contacts with international Islamic activities was part of the post -1696 pattern of UMNO or government movement towards a more Muslim character while maintaining patterns accommodation with other races.
Besides, there was also an issue referred by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as the "apron- string complex". There were pressure and arguments on the type of relationship we should maintain between the former colonizers and our country. In addition, there was also an urgent need to take the middle stand between the two major power blocs in the world by then in order to establish significant Third World credentials. The British Military Power, once the major power in Southeast Asia, was facing a gradual rundown that would definitely caused the whole withdrawal of the power from the region. Nevertheless, at the moment, Malaysia still needed the Western allies due to its under- developed defense systems. That is the reason for in April 1970, Tun Abdul Razak who was still the Minister of Defense, subscribed to the Five- Power Defense Pact, signed in London with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Britain.
The turmoil in international and regional affairs was also one of the issues during the Razak administration. Prolonged United States involvement in Vietnam, the a complex geo-political challenge, particularly the rising of the neighborly countries such as Indonesia and India, both culturally and politically, the emergence of China as possessing the nuclear super- power and its re-entry to international diplomacy, the increasing influences of Japan on Asia especially in the fields of commerce, industry and finance, the renewed strength of Muslim states in the Middle East were indirectly shaping Malaysia's foreign policy at the time. Moreover, Malaysia also had to deal with some regional security issues such as the Philippines' claim over Sabah, the cooperation with Thailand to solve communist guerrillas in border area, the Thai treatment of Malay- Muslims in Southern Thailand and the relationships with Indonesia regarding to the navigation rights in the Melaka straits issue and the possession of offshore oil resources.
Tun Abdul Razak wondered about the strategies that Malaysia could adopt to cope with it. He felt that the emerging new countries in Africa and Asia should be cultivated. Besides, the ways that Malaysia managed these issues were also in the consideration as popular sentiment determined the perception of the outside world about Malaysia. It is important to create an image of Malaysia as an independent and free from foreign dominance country. When he took over his premiership, he began to implement his plans, elevating neutrality and non- alignment as our official foreign policy goals in order to ensure the future security and well- being of Malaysia. One of his goals was to achieve full neutralization of the whole of Southeast Asia while still maintaining a good relationships with the West by acquiring cooperation from the major powers that were concerned with this region, and also by identifying with the 'Third World' of Afro- Asia including Latin American, South Pacific and Middle East. Another goal was to gain alliance with the ASEAN countries and to make sure that the region would be safer and freed from foreign military forces and also to maintain harmonious, peaceful and bilateral relationships with these neighbour countries.
The Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN)
During the period of Tun Abdul Razak as the deputy prime Minister of Malaysia, there were only few organizations such as the ASA (Association of Southeast Asia) and the ASPAC (Asian Pacific Council). Tunku Abdul Rahman realized that there was no space for two organizations to work perfectly at the same time. Thus, in 1967, not long after the Confrontation dispute with Indonesia, five main country members including Adam Malik from Indonesia, Narciso Ramos from the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak from Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam from Singapore and Thanat Khoman from Thailand held a meeting in Bangkok and eventually founded the ASEAN, in response to the failure of MAPHILINDO, for the strategic and security reasons. This is the Bangkok Declaration.
Before the forming of ASEAN, Malaysia was facing the issues regarding to the claim made by the Philippines over Sabah as Sabah was once the territory of Sultanate of Sulu. Besides, Malaysia also had to deal with the Confrontation of Indonesia at Southern part of Malaysia. In line with the formation of ASEAN, many conflicts were resolved as the members of ASEAN come to agree that there were better solutions instead of confrontations and conflicts. By 1967, the open dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia was replaced by cooperation through the formation of ASEAN. In fact, the Philippines' claim on Sabah was slow down after the formation of ASEAN. Tun Abdul Razak played an important role as he stood firmly in declining the Philippines' claim on Sabah. From his point of view, it was a test for the new nation. Malaysian demanded for the withdrawal of the Philippines from Sabah even if they wanted to infiltrate Sabah with a special forces.
The Malaysian government lodged a formal protest in September 1968. A meeting was held between Tuan Abdul Razak and Narciso Ramos in Bangkok. It seemed to be fruitless but they agree with a solution by having a cooling off period. Yet, matters went even worse when the Philippines claimed again over Sabah territory and its water. In addition, the Philippines Executive also accused the State Government of Sabah for infringing the Kuala Lumpur Declaration by interfering with its internal affairs such as smuggling arms and explosives in the Sulu Islands and Mindanao. This is an ongoing issue but without Tun Abdul Razak and the government, we may not have Sabah as a state in our country today.
In February 1977, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, drafted initiatively by Tun Abdul Razak, to foster peaceful resolutions of disputes between ASEAN member countries was signed at the ASEAN summit conference in Bali.
Another issue that had a big impact on Malaysia was the idea of the communism. The formation of ASEAN was mainly for strategic and security reasons and political stability among the ASEAN countries. To prevent ASEAN countries from being colonized, threatened or involving in communism, ASEAN bind all the countries together to have a neutralized stance. The early formation of ASEAN was to prevent all war involving ASEAN countries, to focus in economic growth and also to rebuild and recover after World War II. Federation of Malaya, by the time, had just came out from the confrontation of Indonesian and the state of emergency, without the idea of ASEAN and the co-operation among the ASEAN countries for the economical support, Malaysia would not be able to survive throughout the whole early period before and after the formation of Malaysia.
Neutralization and Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality (ZOPFAN)
Since Tun Abdul Razak assumed his position as the second prime minister of Malaysia, neutralization had become the key element of Malaysia's foreign policy. The proposal of neutralization under Tun Abdul Razak had two levels of implementation. The first level specified that Southeast Asian nation-states adopt and practice non- aggression and non- intervention principles based on mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, besides reaching out to ensure harmony and security among themselves. The second level of implementation involved the major superpowers at the time, the United States, China, and the Soviet Union, were singled out as prospective guarantors for ensuring that the Southeast Asian region would not become an area for conflict among these major countries. In addition, the superpowers were also called on to take the role of supervising to ensure the neutrality of Southeast Asia. The declaration emphasized regional cooperation to strengthen the economic and social stability of the region to ensure peaceful and progressive national developments.
Since 1970, Malaysia has been practicing non- interference policy or the exception policy to create a bilateral good relationships with many countries, without involving itself in the complications of super- power such as Russia and United States. ZOPFAN (Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality), originated in a 1970, a proposal by Tun Abdul Razak, was one of the efforts made for the purpose of neutralizing Southeast Asia, to be free from any form of external interference and to create a region that has lasting peace, freedom and prosperity.
In October 1971, Tun Abdul Razak proposed his plan for neutralization to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He received a lot of encouragement and acceptance. He managed to arrange a meeting with four other ASEAN countries to hold a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on November 26th and 27th. The result was the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, an issue of a joint communiqué that included a declaration of all ASEAN countries by the time to cooperate and work together to gain the recognition and respect for Southeast Asia as ZOPFAN.
The Malaysian Government under the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministership of Tun Razak and Tun Ismail organized a chain of diplomatic campaigns to have the Malaysian initiative adopted and accepted by the other non- ASEAN Southeast Asia countries for the need of a neutralized Southeast Asia. He called for a greater regional cooperation and warned people about the danger and risk of the existence and intention of super- powers. During the 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on 16 December 1969, he stressed the importance of regional cooperation and regional solidarity through self-help and collective efforts.
Tun Abdul Razak did not cease his personal effort in implementing the idea of ZOPFAN to a wider area including those countries that were not ASEAN members. In 1974, he made an official visit to Burma to convince President U Ne Win about neutralization. Although Burmese remained skeptical and Indo-China was about to be ruled by communists, Tun believed and was convinced that in the future, these countries would embrace neutralization.
However, ZOPFAN had not progressed very much beyond the conceptual beginnings and terms set down during the Bali meeting in 1976. ZOPFAN remains an intra-ASEAN policy, but over the years, the principles of the proposal and the subsequent Treaty of Amity and Concord have been contravened by non-ASEAN states. In 1990s, after reviewing the relevancy of ZOPFAN, some analysts believed that the concept of ZOPFAN seems increasingly irrelevant in the post-Cold War era and it was merely a statement of principle rather than a plan for effective actions. ZOPFAN was extremely limited in the contribution it can make toward the shaping or formulation of security arrangements and other such forms of regional cooperation among the member states of ASEAN.
Non- Alignment Movement (NAM)
Tun Abdul Razak made a couple of significant changes in Malaysia's foreign policy. One of his fundamental moves was the decision to join NAM (Non-Aligned Movement). NAM was considered by the Razak administration as a major discussion for consultations and management of positions on political and economic issues to determine an international order that were of importance among the almost two- thirds of the sovereign developing countries of the world. To understand why Tun Abdul Razak decided to actively be a member of NAM, remember that NAM emerged during the collapse of the colonial system in Asia and Africa and the emergence of independent countries from colonization and imperialism. As the name implies, NAM members follow a strict 'non-alignment' policy, did not favor both democratic bloc and communist bloc. NAM countries promote self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and territorial integrity. NAM countries also focus on strengthening the socioeconomic development as well as reconstituting international economic system.
Tun Abdul Razak, practiced a non-alignment policy by establishing ZOFPAN. He believed that the joining of Malaysia into NAM can prove the stance of Malaysia, which chose to be non-aligned with any powers of block. During the period of Tun Abdul Razak as the Foreign Minister, Malaysia was officially brought into the fold of the Movement as a member country with its participation in the Informal Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NAM at New York on 27th September 1969. Consequently, the Malaysian Delegation, led by Tun Abdul Razak as the new Prime Minister, attended its first ever Summit as a member country at the 3rd NAM Summit in Lusaka, Zambia from 8th until 10th September 1970. To strengthen Malaysia's determination and pursuit of disentanglement, Tun Abdul Razak led the delegation of Malaysia to the Fifth Conference of Heads of State of Government of NAM Countries at Colombo in the year of 1976.
In the political aspects, NAM members agreed to condemn Zionist's violent action against Palestinians. Zionist (Israel) persistently continued his hostile racist and unlimited expansionary policy in Palestine boundaries. As a Muslim, Tun Abdul Razak paid sympathy and condemnation against Israeli's actions. NAM also agreed that this situation posed a threat to international security and peace. As the same time, Tun Abdul Razak wanted to create a closer relationship with Muslim countries. This gave Tun Abdul Razak a greater chance and higher reputation, since Muslim countries also disagreed with Zionist's brutal action against Palestine.
Another issue that helped Tun Abdul Razak to proven his role in Asian is the issues of United States, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Vietnam. As a prominent figure in South East Asian, Tun Abdul Razak was working hard to make South East Asian a free-alignment zone, free from any alien powers. By the time the fifth conference was held, Vietnam had a successful birth as Socialist Republic of Vietnam, while Lao People's Democratic Republic had freed from United States attack. NAM celebrated the struggle of the country to fight against Imperialism by United States. To make sure that Malaysia stood in the side of Vietnam, joining NAM and agreeing with the resolution was the right actions. This act, therefore, would bring confidence to South East Asian countries to join Tun Abdul Razak's plan to made South East Asian a free and neutral region.
In the economic context, Tun Abdul Razak, which at that time had visions to develop Malaysia, has made a right path by joining NAM, which clearly paralleled with his visions and missions. Malaysia, which was going step by step to neutralize from big powers (bloc), would surely suffer in terms of economic if they continued to do so. By far, most underdeveloped and developing countries still depend on big powers for economic support, and these policy had never made them any better; economic discrimination, along with imperialism, colonialism and apartheid would never place a big space for these countries to developed. Malaysia had made the right step to gradually become independence in terms of economic and sovereignty by joining NAM.
The Relationship with China
The most recent historical perspective of bilateral Malaysia-China relations is relevant for today's situation. This is due to the fact that the relation of China and Malaysia and also with other Southeast Asian countries was complicated by two problems. According to Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the Emerging China: Political, Economic and Cultural Perspectives; one had been the Beijing's policy towards Malaysian of Chinese origin and the other is its policy towards the Communist Party of Malaya. Unlike the establishment of diplomatic relations with other countries such as for example African countries whereby communities of Chinese ancestors and African communist parties linked closely to China didn't have any issues that complicated matters so much. Thus, these two factors played a prominent role in playing in the establishment o diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.
In 1949, communism took over China. They, at that time didn't think of a clear policy towards Southeast Asians of Chinese origin. Instead, they continued the previous Kuomintang government which was to consider as Chinese those who had a grandfather who was a Chinese citizen. This caused numerous difficulties with other countries which just obtained their independence from colonial rule. Those new countries did not want to deal with citizens that came from other countries, especially China. However, the Chinese communist were enthusiastic to have diplomatic relations with these new nations especially those that were not seen as Western allies.
Most the Chinese in Malaysia had embraced Malaysian citizenship and were already integrated in Malaysian polity by 1974. Again, according to Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the Emerging China: Political, Economic and Cultural Perspectives; it has been suggested that one reason Tun Razak wanted to establish diplomatic relations with China was an attempt on part of Barisan National to win Malaysian Chinese votes for a general election that was expected to be declared after he came back from China. UMNO leaders were confident of their loyalty to use the China card. However, there were still problems regarding the citizenship issue. Many Chinese in Malaysia still could not obtain their Malaysian citizenship and therefore were so-called stateless Chinese. It was feared that they could complicate the negotiations between Malaysia and the Chinese communist authorities. The Chinese communist government couldn't openly abandon them. But both parties really wanted to develop diplomatic ties so in 1974, Tun Razak and Premier Zhou En-lai signed the join communiqué. And in that draft, there was no mention of this group of Chinese beyond the usual urging by the Chinese premier that Chinese residents in Malaysia should respect Malaysian laws and customs.
Besides that, there were other reasons Malaya wanted to establish diplomatic ties with China was that was due to regional strategic causes and economic reasons as well. According to Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy, in May 1971 a trade mission went to China at the invitation of the Chinese Government's National Foreign Trade Corporation. The outcome of this initiative was that China agreed to buy an entire stockpile of the Malaysian Rubber Fund Board. Apart from that, China also agreed to purchase an additional150,000 tons of rubber a year at average market prices. After almost a year later, in March 1972, the China National Chemical Export and Import Corporation invited a rubber technical advisory mission from Malaysia to visit China for two weeks. Malaysia's recently established national trading corporation, PERNAS sponsored a 60-member trade delegation to the Canton Spring Fair in April 1972. Besides that, Malaya also developed a relationship with China based on other levels such as sports and medical exchanges throughout 1971 and 1972. This clearly shows that Malaysia really wanted to demonstrate its goal to achieve wide understanding with this growing power.
China's formal membership in the UN and President Nixon's visits to China was kind of triggered Malaysia's initiative to have diplomatic relations with China. Malaysia then decided to begin "a dialogue with China with a view to normalization of relations." The discourse began in June 1973 and the first few meetings showed Malaysia's seriousness in the negotioations. Those who represented Malaysia were Zain Azraai (representing Prime Minister's Office), Khor Eng Hee (Wisma Putra) and Ahmad Kamil Jaafar (Deputy Permanent Representative). On the other hand, the person who represented China was their Ambassador, Huang Hua. Even though both sides' expectations were opposed, the Malaysians were still able to persuade the Chinese to accept a package deal in which Malaysia's main concerns were satisfied.
The perception of China as a threat to Malaysia began to change from the mid 1980s onwards. This was a result of many factors. One was due to the increasing acceptance by the Malaysian government and the Malaysian Chinese were well integrated in Malaysian polity. Any further opening towards China such as allowing Malaysians to visit China with the same degree of freedom they were permitted to travel to any other friendly country. Besides that, it was also encouraged for Malaysia to enhance business ties with China. Due to that, it would not have negative domestic political consequences.
In conclusion, ties between China and Malaysia have been complicated by the issue of Beijing's policy towards Southeast Asian of Chinese descent since 1949, especially by its support by the Communist Party in Malaya. However, these two factors did not prevent both of these countries from having diplomatic relations. But from 1980s onwards, the two factors mentioned began to dissolve when the Chinese were taken consideration into the local polity and when the Communist Party of Malaya decided to surrender back in 1989.
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an international organization with a permanent delegation with the United Nations. It happened to be an idea of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1969 and Malaysia has officially joined the organization since then. The succeeding government of Tun Abdul Razak reaped advantage from his leadership role. With more than 25 countries became the members of OIC before 1970, Tun Abdul Razak had become a second man by carrying on the idea made the first Prime Minister. In fact, this capable leader was persisted in the policies of Tunku Abdul Rahman in the organization.
Apart of being renowned in Malaysian New Economic Policy (DBP), Tun Abdul Razak's foreign policy had been a great success from his efforts in the OIC. First of all, he was acknowledged with conspicuousness of Muslim Nation. Under Tun Abdul Razak, as a member of the particular organization, Malaysia began to identify itself as a "Muslim nation." Even though there were three races in the country, he wanted to establish and recognize Malaysia as one single country. Indeed, it has been one up to the present. More or less, this situation had strengthened the Malaysian support towards the liberation of Palestine at that time. As Islam is the official religion of our country and the actual religion of the Malays, most contemporary leading politicians were Malays; thus, in various Arab- Israeli conflicts, despite Malaysia's policy towards neutralization, the government encourage monetary contribution and volunteers from the public to aid the Palestinians during the Arab- Israeli war in October 1973. Tun Abdul Razak also held responsible for Malaysia's agreement for Islamic Charter of OIC in 1972. As a result of this, he had given birth to a clean international Islamic image for a new country like Malaysia at that particular moment.
Furthermore, this second Prime Minister had emphasized the pragmatism of OIC. It was his idea to come out with economically supportive Islamic Organization to the members of the OIC. In the 5th Islamic Conference, he used to stress the importance for the OIC's members to promote and regard Islam as a religion of steadfast progression and human modernization. In a sense, the idea involved the constitution of economic and technical cooperation, the broadening of trade, investments schemes and its members, better and improved deployment of Islamic Development Bank (IDF) funds within the Islamic world, and the modification on the system of Islamic education. As a result, there was a sharp boost in the volume of bilateral trade between Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries. The increasing volume $172 million in 1969 to $654 million in 1974 in trade is a clear evident for this case. As a matter of fact, Malaysia was considered as one of the top ten countries to be exempted from oil cutbacks during the global energy crisis in 1973. The mission to attract foreign investment through the establishment of foreign policies was also proven successful through the funding of oil-producing Arab countries in the constructions of mosques and religious schools in Malaysia. The Secretariat for the development of Ummah during the 1970's was liable for those kinds of modernizations.
In a nutshell, Tun Abdul Razak contributed a lot to Malaysian's development in terms of its foreign policy. It was him who initially practiced commercial bond between Malaysia and other Islamic nations, coupled with his ability to serve a respectful image of Malaysia's name throughout the world and preserved Malaysia's cerebral policies towards a nation's freedom. At this point, he had moved Malaysia one step forward to the present Malaysia.
Overall influences of the foreign policy on Malaysia
The existence of ZOPFAN in line with the foreign policy goal to achieve neutralization has contributed to an agreement formed between Malaysia and South East Asia (ASEAN) with other foreign powers, which in turn freed Malaysia and other ASEAN countries from any kind of violation and disturbance from the foreign power that wished to carry out the imperialism policy. In fact, foreign powers had actually promised to acknowledge and recognize the sovereignty and independence of the countries in this area Thus, the forming of ZOPFAN has provided ASEAN countries with an institutional framework and the sinews of future co-operations, emphasizing that ASEAN was free to embark on a journey to prove the viability of the philosophy of building "regional resilience" based on the respective "national resilience" of each of its Member Countries, anticipating an era of peace and co-operation.
Despite the partial success of the policy of neutralization, the establishment of diplomatic relations with China did not discontinue the Peoples Republic's support for propaganda of local insurgents. Although Kuala Lumpur had complained about the resurgence of communist activity in the Malaya Peninsula that included assassinations and assaults of the authorities that could be equated as terrorism, the Peking regime did not try to cease the activity of Malayan Communists' Party China- based radio station, which frequently made personal attacks on Malaysian government. Breaking the promise about not to interfere affairs of Malayan Communist Party, the Peking government congratulate MCP during its 45th anniversary. Responding to this issue, Tun Abdul Razak ordered an official protest lodged with the Chinese ambassadors.
ASEAN were preoccupied with acquiring a resolution for the challenges brought up by communism. Yet, the political rivalry between China and the Soviet Union created more uncertainty for ASEAN. The upsurge of internal Communist insurgent movements had seriously threatened regional security, but it had also strengthened the political will of ASEAN, since China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), who has emerged as the strongest military power in the region, supported the movement. The ASEAN leaders, in response to the new developments since 1975, have frequently reviewed the economics and security issues.
Malaysia involvement in NAM under the leadership of Tun Abdul Razak had benefited us politically as it had raised the reputation of Malaysia in the eyes of Islamic countries when Malaysia was on the same boat as the other NAM countries to disagree with the Zionist's violence against Palestinians. Malaysia involvement in OIC also helped to create the impression of Malaysia as a Muslim Nation.
During Tun Abdul Razak's premiership, Malaysia's economy was strongly reliant on the Western countries in line with the government pro- western attitudes. Malaysia's economy system was highly agricultural- based; thus, merchants from Britain who invested and had come control over the trade were biased towards products that were lucrative and with high demand especially rubber and coffee. Seeking to break the dependence of Malaysia to Western countries, Tun Abdul Razak made efforts to abolish pro-western attitude such as introducing the New Economic Policies whereby he started to find new merchants from countries such as China, Afro-Asia and Islamic countries like Arab.
Along with the successfully implemented policy with the formation of ASEAN in 1967, the trading activities among the ASEAN countries had increased in conjunction with the main objective of ASEAN to achieve cooperation among ASEAN countries so that our country's natural resources, commerce and industry would be under our own control instead of being exploited by foreigners. Although ASEAN countries were by then more actively involved in international trades, these countries' economy did not improve tremendously, merely a slight improvement had achieved if compared to the developed and advanced countries. None the less, Malaysia had gained a new and mutually- benefited trading partners such as Singapore.
In the era of 1970s, the Laissez-Faire policy was introduced to the foreign trades. With the implementation of this policy, foreign investors were encouraged to invest in ASEAN countries especially Malaysia as foreign modals were needed for the development ASEAN countries. Further efforts were carried out by ASEAN to further improve the quality of self- reliance in our economic system. The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) that was a platform for economic cooperation between 15 countries located on both sides of the Pacific Inn, including all earlier ASEAN Member Countries, was also a form of an extension of regional co-operation beyond that of ASEAN. In March 1996, the Asian Europe Meeting (ASEM), which had initiated cooperation between the 15 countries of the European Union and the 10 countries of East Asia, including all 7 ASEAN countries by then, was a signal of an even greater regional co-operation.
Joining NAM had also benefited Malaysia's economic development. NAM members agreed that they will co-operate each other in terms of economics and trades. Tun Abdul Razak was the father of development; he started a significant economic development at Malaysia, particularly in agricultural sector. If we look deeper in NAM's resolution, they agreed to help each other to foster agricultural development. These benefits including the cooperation and sharing experience of agricultural research and development of large-scale development projects. Ethiopia, Korea, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Sudan Tanzania and Somalia had agreed to contribute their experience in food and agricultural skills. From this moment, Malaysia experienced significant growth in agricultural research industry. One of the results as we can see today is the establishment of Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) in the early years of Tun Abdul Razak tenure.
Another economic benefit that gained from the participation in NAM is that NAM members were committed to help each other to support each other in terms of economic development and dependence. As they agreed on the Sixth Conference in Havana, Cuba on 1979, the world economic system claimed to be injustice and imbalance, which at that time favored the developed (first-world) countries. NAM countries were determined to exterminate the economic crisis and eradicate trade imbalance between non-developed countries. These resolutions and actions are beneficial to Malaysia, as by then we were still undeveloped, and struggling to construct our economic development and eradicate the level of poverty and illiteracy among citizens of Malaysia. By joining NAM, Tun Abdul Razak had secured Malaysia a place where he could depend on for economics trade and cooperation.
Due to Malaysia's supportive action for the Pan- Islam, when King Faisal led the Arab nations in an oil embargo on the United States and Holland, there were restricted supplies of oil to the western countries to protest over their support for Israel, yet Malaysia had the privileged to the supply. However, Malaysia's economy was still impeded by the drastic price increment of oil in the world market and led to cut- backs in some sections of the 5- Year Development Plan. This had caused Tun Abdul Razak to emphasize on having own control over the new found oil and natural gas deposits in our countries instead of letting them to be exploited by the foreigners.
The formation of ZOPFAN was to create a zone with secured freedom, lasting peace and prosperity in the ASEAN countries. With strong determination and conviction, Tun Abdul Razak continued to convince the world to support the development of ZOPFAN even though his proposal was criticized to be merely an idealized image of the region as the area had no observable trained or caliber arm forces to support the countries' defense mechanism; yet, foreign aid was discouraged from giving military supports. ZOPFAN, to a certain extent, had implemented disengagement from major power alliance and alignment so as to avoid becoming enmeshed in major power ambitions. It allowed ASEAN countries to have a control on the development of countries in a harmonious and peaceful way without interruptions from major powers.
Another result of the foreign policy under Tun Abdul Razak's leadership was the major improvement in the country's educational system. Having close relationships with many countries, in 1957, Tun Abdul Razak made an official visit to Australia and New Zealand to understand more about their education system, which revolved around a move towards science and- technology- orientation. This was just a tip of an iceberg of the contributions of having diplomatic relationships with other countries. In fact, many cultural such as tradition, food, costumes, social, educational exchanges had taken place and they motivated Malaysia to move a step forward toward as a multi-racial and cultural country by learning from the module of advanced or better- developed countries.
Throughout the whole period of Razak's administration, he gave an impression of being hurry, pushy, ambitious and determined to accomplish political goals in a short period of time. Because he assumed leadership after the May 1969 riots, the primary goals to be achieved were on the formulation and implementation of domestic policies that could ease the internal conflicts. However, there were also big changes in international affairs that demanded him to redirect our country's foreign policy by being uninvolved in the open political conflict and seeking to build a truly independent nation politically, economically and socially. These were how the ideas of neutralization and diplomacy came by and were successful to a certain extent.
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