Malaysia’s foreign policy is directed by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. It is principally based on pursuing the country’s national interests and maintaining peaceful relations with all countries regardless of their ideology and political system. The country has healthy relations expressed through over 100 reciprocal embassies, high commissions and consulates with numerous countries around the world. Regional co-operation is a cornerstone of Malaysia’s foreign policy. It was a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and has served as the group’s chair. Malaysia is an active member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the United Nations. It was chair of the OIC until March 2008 and has also chaired NAM.
There are over 100 official foreign missions in Malaysia. The roles of most of these missions include key activities such as promoting business and trade linkages, and strengthening strategic and political ties. Notable examples include the UK High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, which is used to highlight the Commonwealth ties and relays versions and explanations of British foreign policy; and the US embassy, which amongst many things promotes exchange programmes between American and Malaysian institutions and promotes a working peaceful relationship between the two countries.
There are over 100 Malaysian embassies, high commissions and consulates in countries all over the world. The heads of these missions, ambassadors and high commissioners work under the minister of foreign affairs. The embassies provide a foundation from which to promote Malaysia to the international community. This is especially true in the promotion of advanced manufacturing practices and industry, tourism and the importance of non-intervention in the internal affairs of countries. Embassies and other foreign missions can be contacted for information on consular affairs such as visas, passports and travel.