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MALAYSIA'S MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY UNDER DR.

MAHATHIR MOHAMAD

ROSTAM AFFENDI BIN SALLEH

PROJECT PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER IN STRATEGY AND DIPLOMACY

FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA BANGI 2002

DECLARATION

I hereby declare that the work in this project paper is my own except for quotations and summaries, which have been duly acknowledged.

20 May 2002

ROSTAM A :FENDI BIN SALLEH P21516

ABSTRACT
Malaysia under the administration of Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

emphasized more on multilateral diplomacy after initial skepticism of its worth. This could be seen by analyzing Malaysia's foreign relation behaviours conducted at the three organizations reviewed, the NAM, the G-15 and the UNCHR. Malaysia's active participation in those organizations reflected the growing salience of multilateral diplomacy in Malaysia's foreign policy under Dr. Mahathir's administration. This paper attempts to answer three aspects of the perceived increase in importance of multilateral diplomacy under Dr. Mahathir's rule. Firstly, in what ways and to what extent has multilateral diplomacy gained prominence in Malaysia's foreign policy under Dr. Mahathir's administration? Secondly, how has multilateral diplomacy helped to achieve Malaysia's foreign policy goals? And thirdly, what are the underlying factors that led to the increasing salience of multilateral diplomacy in Malaysia's foreign policy? The findings of the paper are, from being minimally active at the beginning of Dr. Mahathir's administration Malaysia's foreign policy, later became more active in multilateral diplomacy in the three organizations studied. Further, its active participation in these organizations has also helped to achieve Malaysia' foreign policy goals especially those related to ensure high growth for its economy and to champion the rights of the developing countries. Factors in all three levels, individual, state, and international system, have also affected Malaysia's foreign policy behaviours towards a greater salience on multilateral diplomacy. Additionally, it was found out also that some factors have greater effect while others have less impact on Malaysia's participation in the three multilateral organizations analyzed. It cab be concluded that the idiosyncratic factor of Dr. Mahathir has a major impact in shaping Malaysia's foreign policy behaviours towards all three organizations. On the other hand, the domestic factors such as the changing socio-economic base of the country affected Malaysia's participation in both NAM and G-15 while the gradual emergence of a civil society affected Malaysia's actions in UNCHR. Meanwhile at the third level of analysis, the international environment has generally impacted on Malaysia participation at all three organizations.

CONTENTS

DECLARATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABSTRACT


ABBREVIATIONS

ii iii iv
v

CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

vii
1

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8

Problem Statement Objectives and Scope Theoretical Framework Definitions of Concepts Methodology Significance of the Study Literature Review Organization of Chapters

4 6 8 10 12 14 14 19
20

CHAPTER 2: MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY UNDER PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

Introduction
Period of Tunku Abdul Rahman Period of Tun Abdul Razak

20
21 27

Period of Tun Hussein Onn

29
33

CHAPTER 3: MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY UNDER DR. MAHATHIR MOHAMAD 3.1 3.2 Introduction Foreign Policy

33 35

3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6

Multilateral Diplomacy Non-Aligned Movement Group of 15 UN Commission on Human Rights

38 39 42 44

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS

47

4.1 4.2 4.3

Introduction Non-Aligned Movement Group of 15

47 48 63

4.4

UN Commission on Human Rights

68
73

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION

ANNEX
BIBLIOGRAPHY

80
81

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