On the 23rd of July, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed began his official visit to Turkey to enhance bilateral relations with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This marks Tun’s second visit official visit to Turkey since 2001 under the capacity of being Prime Minister.
Of that visit, several achievements came to light. Firstly, Turkey agreed on sharing its defence technology with Malaysia, a rare feat as it is difficult achieve a similar bargain from other parties. The Prime Minister added that Turkish companies were keen on collaborating with Malaysia and it is of absolute importance that we accept this opportunity to leapfrog in the aerospace and defence industry.
Secondly, Tun announced a tripartite pact between Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan to lead the Renaissance of the Muslim world. The pact is representative of the three continents where the most vibrant Muslim communities reside, South-east Asia, Europe and South Asia. Tun mentioned that the first act is to reform the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Ultimately, Tun also mentioned that Turkey could be an “alternative trade source” for Malaysia. As it stands, the latest total trade between Malaysia and Turkey amounts to US$2.38 billion. Since Malaysia is a trading country, it is imperative that we diversify our trade sources as China and US continue with its trade dispute, severely affecting both parties.
Through MBM’s solid relationship with Turkey, MBM looks forward on cooperating with Turkey through the Islamic Cooperation of Youth Forum (ICYF) which has its headquarters in Istanbul.
MBM hopes that the Malaysian-Turkish relationship continue to strive through relationships either by Government to Government, Private to Private, NGO to NGO and Youth to Youth.
JUFITRI BIN JOHA
MAJLIS BELIA MALAYSIA
Date: 30th July 2019