Cold War mindset must end, says Anwar

Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim meets up corporate leaders in San Francisco, United States on Nov 15, 2023. Here he is with company officials of Enovix Corporation. Photo courtesy of Sadiq Asyraf/Prime Minister’s Office.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 16:  Countries like Malaysia and ASEAN at large, should not be forced to see the world and big powers in the Cold War mindset, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

He said the post-normal times were more chaotic and complex, which required countries big or small to be able to come together and collaborate and not otherwise.

This, said Anwar, was the reason why the meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, was critical.

“It should give a clear message that we are able to work together and trust each other to resolve serious problems such as Climate Change,” he said during a question and answer session at the 30th APEC CEO Summit entitled: “The Global Economy and State of The World,” here on Wednesday.

Citing the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, Anwar said there were too many contentious issues at hand, and engagement was the best way to move forward.

“You must try and engage, accepting the fact that you may not achieve all the desired results, but this engagement is important to try and establish areas that do work,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister reiterated that both the United States and China were equally important to Malaysia.

“The United States has been a traditional ally and a major investor in Malaysia but things are changing, there has been an increase in trade and investment from China.

“So, why then put us in a fix, in a zero-sum game? For the benefit of (our) countries, emerging economies, and also for the West and the East, I believe the solution is, of course, greater collaboration,” he said.

Volunteers from Asian countries preparing to greet guests coming to the APEC meeting in San Francisco. From left: Susie representing Indonesia, Noor representing Malaysia, Rose (former Miss Chinatown) who is helping with organising the event, and Tanya representing Myanmar.

Anwar arrived here on Monday (Nov 13) for the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) from Nov 14 to 17, marking his maiden visit for the official meeting as Prime Minister of Malaysia.  

He is accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil as well as other senior government officials.