The one-year tour: Ten countries Anwar visited since he became PMX
SHAH ALAM - When it comes to diplomatic travels, Malaysia's 10th Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has set a remarkable pace so far. In just one year, the 76 year-old has visited numerous countries, seeking to bolster Malaysia's stature on the global stage.
While critics had been hammering his frequent global crisscrossing seemed more like an attempt to tour the world, Anwar’s jet-set traverse was not as aimless and fruitless as it appeared to be.
In order to get a glimpse on when he embarked on these global trips and what came out of it, Sinar Daily decided to list the ten countries our PMX has visited since he took oath as prime minister on November 24, 2022.
When: January 25 2023
What came out of it: Anwar made some great connections with Brunei and its monarch, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. During the visit, they hammered out a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Brunei Investment Agency. This agreement covered mutual investments in key sectors like oil and gas, tourism, AI, smart manufacturing, and halal food.
When: February 9 2023
What came out of it: Anwar took on the southern conflict by getting peace talks going with the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) separatists. Malaysia's key role in facilitating a resolution to the insurgency was highlighted. The discussions covered plans to decrease violence, provide platforms for BRN, and strengthen cross-border relations.
When: March 1 2023
What came out of it: It was his fifth official visit to Asean countries and was packed with important events like meetings, a wreath-laying ceremony, a public lecture, and receiving an honorary doctorate. The main focus was on enhancing bilateral ties and boosting economic cooperation. Anwar's active involvement highlighted Malaysia's steadfast commitment to Asean.
When: March 27 2023
What came out of it: The visit aimed to boost economic cooperation and establish labor-protection agreements. The discussions centered on increasing bilateral trade, promoting agricultural exports, and collaborating against crime, smuggling, human trafficking, and money laundering. They also talked about plans for joint policing and the construction of undersea power cables. The emphasis was on deepening relationships and addressing regional issues.
When: March 29 2023
What came out of it: Anwar's first official visit to China in which he scored some major investments and partnerships. Anwar also didn't shy away from expressing concerns about China's activities in the South China Sea. The visit brought in a whopping $38 billion in investment promises, highlighting its significant economic impact. Anwar even pitched the idea of an Asian monetary fund, showing his vision for keeping the region stable.
When: June 26 2023
What came out of it: Anwar's seventh official trip to an Asean member state which focused on fortifying ties as Laos prepared for its Asean chairmanship. The objective was to generate positive momentum in the lead-up to Laos assuming the chair. Notably, Anwar engaged in meetings with various Muslim organisations, underscoring the significance of collaboration.
When: July 20 2023
What came out of it: Anwar's visit shone a spotlight on Vietnam's impressive economic strides. While acknowledging existing challenges, he commended Vietnam for its unity and effective governance. An emphasis was placed on the Unity Government's dedication to tackling internal issues. He also expressed keen interest in understanding and learning from Vietnam's investment policies.
When: September 24 2023
What came out of it: During the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Anwar embarked on a four-day trip, putting Malaysia's position on global issues at the forefront. Engaging in bilateral meetings with leaders from various countries and representatives of 15 prominent US companies, the focus was on fostering relationships and attracting investment, which proved fruitful. Anwar took the opportunity to address pressing international matters, ranging from the Ukraine-Russia conflict and Islamophobia to climate change and challenges in Myanmar.
United Arab Emirates
When: October 7 2023
What came out of it: In a brief 36-hour working visit with a key emphasis on economic affairs, Anwar secured substantial investment commitments totaling RM40.6 billion (USD$8.6 billion) in the renewable energy, aerospace, and logistics sectors. A noteworthy achievement was the signing of an MoU for renewable energy projects valued at USD$8 billion. Anwar also acknowledged the robust personal relationship between leaders, a factor contributing to the strong ties between the two countries.
When: October 22 2023
What came out of it: The visit was geared towards a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Discussions were centred on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. This visit was a clear reflection of Malaysia's steadfast commitment to addressing the ongoing challenges in Palestine.