Indo-Malaysian Relations

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by RPK, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    BERNAMA - Najib To Warm Up India-Malaysia Ties During Winter Visit

    NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (Bernama) -- India-Malaysia relations can be better and warmer if time-tested recipes are slightly altered and whipped up to suit current tastes, say many a keen observer of relations between the two countries.

    So, when Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak visits India beginning Tuesday, he might need to use a fresh concoction to spice up relations between "two old friends" before diplomatic fatigue sets in, they say.

    For over two decades or so, India-Malaysia watchers feel that India had blipped mildly on Malaysia's radar as they claim that Malaysians might have overlooked their old Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ally as they calibrated their focus on the "Look East" policy from the 1980s.

    The result was that India got less attention as most Malaysian key decision-makers had a less than favourable view of that country's shielded economy then.

    But today, it is a different ball game altogether. India has ascended from its touristy type of magazine images of the land of "sadhus" (holy men) and soothsayers.

    With a population of 1.2 billion, it is now telling the rest of the world of rainbow-coloured stories, like its US$1.2 trillion (RM4.0 trillion) economy is Asia's third largest, only rivalled by China and Japan.

    Its sizzling economy, growing at about seven per cent annually, is propelled by a 300-million strong middle-class of affluent Indians, larger than even the entire American population put together.

    India's foreign reserves currently stand at US$280 billion (RM935 billion) and last year it pulled in a staggering worth of US$18 billion (RM60 billion) in foreign investments even as money supply dried up in international markets.

    In the last three decades, India has progressed since its economy was liberalised. The kind of activities that had taken place in India since then is certainly remarkable. For example, the India Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) had launched 53 satellites and Indian scientists are even developing artificial human hearts based on cockroach breathing techniques!

    India is definitely a rising economic supremo with a large scientific reservoir and it would definitely be of strategic importance for a nation like Malaysia to have close ties with the Indians.

    Observers say that Najib can profit from this trip with the right strategy. Having a broad-based template, with pragmatic sustainable investment policies coupled with new geopolitical strategy with India, is the need of the hour, especially when the region's geopolitical and economic contours frequently change and overlap.

    The India-Malaysia watchers also say that Najib needs to remove policies that are vague or draw ire among Indians and its influential and free Indian media.

    They add that the Malaysian leader also needs to embark on diplomatic initiatives to convince the Indian political elite that Malaysia is a serious player, like its neighbour Singapore, the second largest investor in the Indian economy last year with investments of US$3.4 billion (RM11.35 billion).

    India's cultural and political tempo is on a different plateau today. With its growing economic might, it is charting a new destiny in the region as it tries to revive its influence.

    Engaging India more deeply is surely to Malaysia's economic and security advantage, but there needs to be improved diplomatic housekeeping as well to complete the recipe, the observers say.

    When Najib travels to Tamil Nadu in southern India, he has to win over hard-core Tamil leaders, who may have blood ties and strong cultural links with Malaysians of Indian descent.

    Another area where Najib can score is bringing to book unscrupulous labour recruiters and employers who had given Indian migrant workers a raw deal.

    The observers say that Najib should be able to triumph in both northern and southern India, given his pragmatic perspective or world view on many issues and his ability to think on his feet.

    And the prime minister's genial personality should certainly defrost the iciest of India's winters and warm the hearts of his hosts to break new ground for stronger bilateral ties, they hasten to add.

    -- BERNAMA
     
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  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    fullstory

    Malaysian PM to ink MoUs with India during 5-day visit

    New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) India will sign several bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with Malaysia during the five-day visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak here starting January 19.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will discuss and exchange views on several bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest to both countries with his counterpart on January 20 in the national capital.

    The visit "underlines the importance which Malaysia attaches to its relationship with India, a release issued by the Malaysian government said, adding, it will seek to broaden and deepen the existing cooperation between the two countries.

    Razak will be accompanied by a business delegation along with his ministerial colleagues and Parliamentarians. He will also call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice President Hamid Ansari during his visit.
     
  4. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Malaysian PM Najib arrives on five-day state visit to India | NetIndian | India News | Latest News from India | Breaking News from India | Latest Headlines

    Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak arrived here this evening on a five-day State Visit to India during which the two countries will sign several agreements aimed at forging closer bilateral cooperation between them, including possibly an extradition pact.

    This is the first Prime Ministerial visit from Malaysia in six years after the trip made in December, 2004 by Mr Abdullah Badawi.

    Mr Najib was received on his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) by Minister of State for Railways E Ahamed.

    Enhancing ties with Malaysia, an important South-East Asian nation, is high on India's agenda, given the emphasis on its "Look East" policy, and its keenness to improve trade relations with ASEAN countries, with whom it has recently concluded a Free Trade Area agreement.

    That Malaysia is also keen on improving ties with India is evident from the fact that Mr Najib has chosen to visit the country within the first year of his term after visiting China.

    Mr Najib is accompanied by a large delegation that includes several cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, chief ministers, members of Parliament, senior officials and a business delegation.

    After a ceremonial welcome tomorrow morning, Mr Najib will call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President M Hamid Ansari. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj will call on him. He will meet ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence tomorrow afternoon.

    In the evening tomorrow, Mr Najib will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for bilateral talks, during which the two sides will review the relations between the two countries and exchange views on various regional and international issues of mutual interst.

    The two Prime Ministers will also witness the signing of several memoranda of understanding and agreements between the two countries. Dr Singh will host a banquet in honour of Mr Najib at Hyderabad House later tomorrow evening.

    Before leaving for Chennai on Thursday afternoon, Mr Najib will also have a meeting with Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who will call on him.

    This will be one of the rare one-on-one meetings that Mr Gandhi will have with a visiting foreign head of government and it has evoked a lot of interest in political circles here.

    In Chennai, Mr Najib will deliver the keynote address at the 16th Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Global Partnership Summit 2010. He will also meet Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. He is due to fly back home on Saturday morning.

    The value of bilateral trade between India and Malaysia was $ 10.5 billion in 2008. India is Malaysia's largest trading partner among countries of the South, excluding ASEAN and China. Similarly, Malaysia has now emerged as India's second largest trading partner in the ASEAN after Singapore.

    Malaysia is also now emerging as a major potential investor in India, with investments in the pipeline in power, oil refineries, telecommunications and electrical equipment industries, besides highway and other infrastructure development projects. Of late, there has been a surge in the flow of private sector project-related investments from Malaysia into India.

    Besides, the two countries are cooperating in the area of defence, especially in training. The Indian Air Force is training personnel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in operation and maintenance of Su-30 MKM aircraft.

    "India-Malaysia relationship has witnessed considerable progress in the last few years. The visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister to India will contribute to further strengthening and expanding the close bilateral relations between the two countries," a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs added.
     
  5. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Malaysia and the growing importance of India

    P. S. Suryanarayana, January 20, 2010

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s perspective on a new East Asian economic nexus inclusive of India is surely novel.

    As a major player in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Malaysia is beginning to look upon India as a potentially indispensable partner. The political message is implicit in comments that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak made prior to his five-day visit to India at this time. And, the message is that Malaysia sees India as a potential partner of the 10-member ASEAN itself in reshaping the existing East Asian economic order.

    Quite revealing was his answer to a question about the possibility of a new concert of Asian powers consisting of China, India, Japan, and the ASEAN. In an interactive session at his office at Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital, on January 11, Mr. Najib said: “If you extrapolate [the current trends], I think, the first part of the 21st century will be essentially [one] uni-polar [global order]. But, gradually, people will see it as a multi-polar kind of world, in which the growing influence of China obviously [is felt]. The projection is that by 2050 China would be the biggest economy in terms of the size of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] and that India would be following not too far behind. And, we will see the integration of the ASEAN as an economic community with East Asia and also with India. So, I see that kind of a nexus developing as we move on in the 21st century.”

    The uni-polar order is, of course, shorthand for the primacy of the United States — regardless of how debatable are the views about its current economic decline. And, a multi-polar dispensation is shorthand for a plurality of powers with the perceived strengths to balance each other or act together on a variety of issues.

    On India’s future role in Malaysia’s neighbourhood, Mr. Najib has had this say: “You cannot deny the growing strategic importance of India. I think India will be a major player in strategic terms — all-encompassing [in scope], not only as a fast-growing economy. India will play a very important part in international affairs in the region and beyond. And, that is why I [have] made India as one of the countries that I will be visiting quite early on after I have taken over [as Prime Minister a few months ago].”

    Mr. Najib avoided portraying his vision of a new nexus of economic linkages as a prophecy about the formation of an Asian concert of powers. However, the ongoing global economic crisis has raised the possibility of a new political order in East Asia, home to several players with worldwide interests. Fully cognisant of this, Mr. Najib chose to be cautious about the ideas that might reduce the importance of the U.S. and some of its long-standing allies. Asked whether Malaysia would support the formation of an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF), Mr. Najib said: “We have not made any firm decision yet.”

    The Chiang Mai Initiative, which he cited in the same breath, is a currency pool of the ASEAN+3 entity, the +3 countries being China, Japan, and South Korea. In a sense, the pool, which is being enlarged this year to help the members face foreign exchange contingencies, can become the nucleus of an AMF. The unrealised Japanese proposal of an AMF, by this or any other name, is a potential alternative to the West-dominated International Monetary Fund. Aware of such nuances, Mr. Najib spoke about a current move by Malaysia and China to use their national currencies for some aspects of bilateral trade.

    However, Malaysia’s central bank officials cautioned against seeing this as a ploy to stop using the U.S. dollar for settling Malaysia’s transactions with China.

    These and other niceties of Malaysia’s current world-view reflect the emerging possibilities of a new inter-state order in East Asia that might include India. Any such future order will not be the same as the existing East Asia Summit; just a forum of leaders of the ASEAN and six countries including India. There is a caveat, too, about the potential extent of India’s relevance to and role in East Asian affairs. The behind-the-scenes view in Malaysia’s official circles is that much will depend on whether the ASEAN+3 entity can or will be enlarged to include India. Relevant to this puzzle is also a debate on the long-term capabilities of the U.S. to stay its current course as a global power with a “resident” status in East Asia.

    A Harvard professor may have written about the possibility of Americans seeing, at some stage, their Hollywood as a word-play on India’s Bollywood. But India does not equal China in the larger international opinion circles. Indeed, a 2009 treatise from the West traces a scenario of “when China rules the world.” In such a broad sweep of futurology, Mr. Najib’s perspective on the possibility of a new East Asian economic nexus inclusive of India is surely novel.

    On the Malaysia-India bilateral front itself, Mr. Najib has given himself space to raise the exiting benchmarks in a measured fashion. He does not see the current level of defence-related cooperation as being sub-optimal in scope. And, he draws a line for possible cooperation with India in the maintenance of security along the Straits of Malacca. Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore are the acknowledged littoral states along this intensely-used international waterway. The protection of this sea lane is the “main responsibility [of] the littoral states,” Mr. Najib has emphasised. And, they “are open to any kind of cooperation, as long as it does not undermine the Number One principle” of the littoral states’ responsibility.

    Malaysia is yet to set its own national goals firmly for space exploration and civil nuclear energy, two possible areas of cooperation with India. In broader economic terms, Malaysia will now seek to “reactivate” the talks on a comprehensive pact with India.

    On the whole, Malaysia tends to see its ties with India as being virtually irritant-free. Some in India do, of course, regard the “concerns” of the Malaysian Indians and the issue of some “missing” Indian nationals in Malaysia as possible irritants. Mr. Najib’s answer is that his government is indeed “responsive” to the sensitivities of the Malaysian Indians.

    His government is also addressing the issue of the overstaying Indian nationals in Malaysia, “principally from Chennai.” They are reckoned to stay on in Malaysia for “whatever reason.” And, Mr. Najib has indicated that he would “probably mention” this issue during his prospective talks in India.

    On the presence of “illegal Indian workers in Malaysia,” S. Subramaniam, a prominent ethnic-Indian Minister in Mr. Najib’s Cabinet, has cited a figure of 1,50,000. He said: “At one stage, we were giving visa on arrival. But we [have] had to stop it, because too many people were coming in and not going back. That was a facility given to genuine tourists. The number, I am told, is [now] coming down, as wages and opportunities increase in India.”

    Malaysia is open to cooperation with India in the maintenance of security along the Straits of Malacca

    The issue of overstaying Indian nationals is likely to figure in talks with India

    The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Malaysia and the growing importance of India
     
  6. borgking82

    borgking82 Regular Member

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  7. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Hindu : News / National : ‘CECA will help achieve true potential of trade relationship’
     
  8. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5496532.cms
     

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