Malaysia set to join BRICS, says Anwar

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will soon begin formal procedures to join the intergovernmental organisation BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"We have made the appropriate decision. We will launch the formal process shortly.

"We are now awaiting the final decision and feedback from the government of South Africa," the Prime Minister said in an interview with Shanghai-based news site Guancha.

Originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the BRICS group welcomed Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as new members during the bloc's summit in August last year.

Their membership took effect on Jan 1.

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In the interview, Anwar said Malaysia is committed to the Global South and its potential membership in BRICS would be of strategic importance given the Straits of Malacca's position as an important shipping lane connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

He said he was relieved that the world was no longer unipolar, with BRICS providing a ray of hope that there are checks and balances in the world.

"We can no longer accept the scenario where the West wants to control the discourse because the fact is they are not colonial powers anymore and independent countries should be free to express themselves," he added.

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