PUTRAJAYA, Sept 6 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today called on the heads of Malaysian diplomatic missions abroad to apply a more creative approach in an effort to attract more foreign investors to Malaysia.
“We should also be careful in exploring and attracting investment from new countries, especially when the world is actively looking for a stable investment destination in this post-pandemic era,” he said.
He said this while officiating the 9th Malaysian Heads of Diplomatic Mission (HOMC9) ceremony which was held virtually, at Wisma Putra tonight.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
At the same time, Ismail Sabri said the delegates also need to focus on opening up market opportunities for Malaysian export products.
“Certain areas such as trade, education and agriculture need to be thoroughly assessed to ensure that Malaysia is always on the right track and does not fall behind in the dynamics of global development and current challenges in particular,” he said.
Ismail Sabri also called on the entire Malaysian Family to give a commitment to carry out efforts to dignify the Malay language and prove that the mother tongue does not constrain the country’s progress.
He said efforts to internationalise the Malay language on the world stage was a government policy and one of the priority areas of the Malaysian Foreign Policy framework, namely Language and Cultural Diplomacy.
“I have instructed that all correspondence should be in the Malay language, including those involving foreign affairs.
“I myself have sent letters to world leaders in the Malay language with an English translation attached,” he said.
In addition, Ismail Sabri said he also used Malay language during his participation in various other international meetings.
He said the government also encouraged Malaysian diplomats to master foreign languages in line with the need to carry out diplomatic and trade negotiations with other countries.
“The government agreed to increase the monthly allowance for civil servants serving abroad who master and use a foreign language in carrying out their official duties effective January 1, 2023,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said the government was aware of the important role played by the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions abroad in helping the government manage the pandemic and deal with negative impacts.
He said while the world was facing the Covid-19 pandemic and most countries were closing their international borders one by one, the Foreign Ministry with its diplomatic network played an important role.
Among them is ensuring that the supply chain is not interrupted and trade activities including Malaysian exports can continue, facilitating the procurement and also the donation of medical equipment supplies such as ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and the supply of medicines needed in Malaysia.
In addition, overseas diplomatic missions also facilitated the acquisition and donation of the Covid-19 vaccine supply for the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and implemented and facilitated the repatriation process of Malaysians who were stranded following the closure of Malaysia and several other countries borders.
“Almost 30,000 Malaysians have been repatriated from 99 countries,” said Ismail Sabri.
He said the Foreign Ministry as well as the diplomatic missions of Malaysia should always be ready to play a more active role so that Malaysia’s relationship with foreign countries is upgraded either to the level of strategic partnership or comprehensive strategic partnership.
The reopening of the country’s border gates on April 1 is a strategic step taken by the government to revitalise economic activities, including the international tourism sector.
“Until now, Malaysia has received more than two million foreign tourists, generating an income of RM8.6 billion,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said the current geopolitical and global economic uncertainty also called for the World Family concept to be spread further internationally.
“If all parties stick to the World Family values and think about common interests, God willing, understanding and friendship can be forged, nurtured and achieved,” he said.
Although Malaysia is a small country, it is capable of playing a unique and distinctive role to remind the world to work as a family in facing the current global challenges, he said.
Suggestions on how the basic pillars of the Malaysian Family can be applied at the global level via the World Family concept was put forward at the 76th United Nations General Assembly last year. — Bernama