BEIJING: The Malaysian Parliament, as the country’s legislative authority, also has a big role in strengthening and enhancing Malaysia's diplomatic relations with foreign countries, says Tan Sri Johari Abdul.
Carrying the concept of "Parliamentary Diplomacy", the Dewan Rakyat Speaker said the Malaysian Parliament bears the responsibility of supporting efforts by the executive body, or the Federal Government, to strengthen diplomatic relations to boost the development, status and economy of the country.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has visited China twice this year, and the visit of the country's legislative delegation to the republic is also an important sign that Malaysia-China diplomatic relations are very good.
"Parliamentary Diplomacy means Parliament takes responsibility for supporting any effort taken by the Executive and in this case, the visit to China.
"If the PM (Anwar) has done his job well as the 'salesman' by ‘offering’ (bargaining) trade advantages, the harmonious situation of the country... I think we should help him strengthen that position.
"Parliamentary diplomacy is important, for example when foreign leaders come over and if the PM does not have the opportunity to explain certain issues, we (legislature) have to help," he said in a special interview with Bernama in conjunction with his official visit to Beijing, China.
Johari, who is leading the Malaysian Parliament delegation, ended his official visit to the republic, at the invitation of his counterpart, China’s 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee chairman Zhao Leji, on Wednesday (Sept 27).
During the visit which kicked off on Sept 23, Johari held a bilateral meeting with Zhao, with Wang Huning who is the chairman of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the President of China, Xi Jinping, in addition to attending the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games.
He also visited several major Chinese companies operating in the fields of technology, renewable energy, agriculture and artificial intelligence (AI).
Johari said the legislative delegation's visit to Beijing was also very significant because it showcased the integrity of China's diplomatic relations established over the past 50 years.
"Our good relations with China have been happening not for a day or two but for a long time and next year, we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations.
"With the two recent visits by the PM (Anwar) and the Chinese Government's invitation for me (to visit Beijing), this has sent a signal to China that we are serious about this relationship (Malaysia-China ties),” he said.
He said Malaysia-China diplomatic cooperation is also important for technology exchange as well as ensuring that Malaysia is on the right track to chair the Asean Summit in 2025.
Johari said it was important for Malaysia to learn from other countries, especially China, and create its own leadership model to carry ASEAN to higher levels.
He said in light of an economic revival in Asean countries and the Asian region in the 21st century century, Malaysia also needs to ensure that diplomatic relations with regional countries are strong and move in tandem so as not to be left behind.
The delegation included Deputy Speaker Alice Lau Kiong Yeng; Member of the Special Select Committee on Nation Building, Education and Human Resource Development M. Kulasegaran; Member of the Special Select Committee on Finance and Economy Datuk Awang Hashim; and Member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia - Sustainable Development Goals (APPGM-SDG) Chiew Choon Man. - Bernama