THE visit to Malaysia as part of an Asian tour and the longest of all the stops by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, reflect the long-running and meaningful ties enjoyed by both countries.
As a vital link in trade and economic partnership, and a hub for economic integration in the Asean market, Malaysia remains a solid platform for the United Kingdom as an important trade partner.
Trade is not the only link we have with the UK. Cooperation and collaboration with the UK in defence and security fields, especially in the sharing of intelligence, technical and military expertise and know-how, will catapult each other’s confidence and strength in providing the first line of defence and deterrence.
With security threats and
challenges coming in various forms, there is no better time to work together to provide mutually beneficial experience in these matters. This will not only lead to a fruitful path in bilateral relations, but will intensify efforts to push for global peace through moderation, which has been championed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
With growing tensions over North Korea and the potential ripples that it will create, as well as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, there is need to push for a careful strategy in striving for regional stability and security.
Actions taken to address these crises are not to be directed from a single source or a superpower alone. It requires the right support, understanding, as well as input and actions by regional actors and players who are involved. Otherwise, humanitarian catastrophes will be the outcome.
It is important to get the support of the UK in providing support and assistance in helping the actors in the region to counter the threats.
Malaysia can take the lead, but it requires assistance to ensure regional peace and security.
With regard to the Rohingya
crisis, the UK, being a perma-nent member of the United Nations Security Council, can further the cause of peace in Myanmar and the region.
Malaysia has been at the forefront of extending a helping hand in mediating and lending support to providing a peaceful solution to regional conflicts and it has a proven track record in doing this.
But it needs friends like the UK, who can further Malaysia’s goal in seeing peace prevail, not only in this region, but also in the Middle East and elsewhere.
I am sure that the UK does not want to see this region or the rest of the world become a battleground.
COLLINS CHONG YEW KEAT