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Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy, 1957-2007

CHANDRAN JESHURUN earned his BA and MA at the University of Malaya before obtaining a PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He subsequently taught at the University of Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and was the first holder of the Chair of Asian History at the former from 1976 to 1989.

Talisman Publishing (First Edition, 2008)
422 pages including Bibliography and Index

RM150.00

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Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy, 1957-2007 is an account of Malaysia’s entry into international affairs as the independent Federation of Malaya in 1957 until 2007. The entry itself marked the emergence of a uniquely new factor in Southeast Asian regional politics. However, by doing of an amazingly intuitive and constructive leadership from the very beginning, it became an attention-grabbing and daring player in the world at large within the following two decades. From the 1980s onwards it embarked upon a determined mission to stand up for the rights and natural justice of developing nations with a series of pioneering projects for peace and understanding in an increasingly unbalanced international order. Throughout, Malaysia has steadfastly maintained the defense of the United Nations Charter and regional cooperation as two of its foremost foreign policy goals. Thus, this essential record of its first fifty years in international diplomacy when, for the most part, Malaysia succeeded in punching well above its weight, is intended as a handy guide for the interested reader.

A publication of Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy 1957-2007 deserves some explanation as it is neither an academic treatise nor a journalistic exercise. Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy 1957-2007 origins can be traced back to the author’s inevitable post-golfing sessions at the Royal Selangor Golf Club and other similar venues in Kuala Lumpur in mid-2006; on these convivial occasions a number of former and current Wisma Putra staff and the non-golfing author found themselves attracted to the idea of having a published record of Malaysia’s diplomacy since 1957 to commemorate fifty years of hard work and solid international achievements. The veterans are devoted to their profession and experienced enough collectively to appreciate the very real constraints in attempting a study of contemporary history, particularly where it delves into the recent past in the country’s foreign diplomacy.

All of them also sincerely believe that the real success of a nation’s independent existence over fifty years is best explained by its survival in the unpredictable world of international politics. Malaysia: Fifty Years of Diplomacy 1957-2007 then is a record of quite incredible experiences by the author in which all of them had been personally involved since the early 1960s. They were spontaneous in wanting to have some summary of it published for posterity’s elucidation. The author’s rendering of events through the trained eye of an “incorrigible historian” and his meticulous documentation of sources is coupled with important, crisp analysis, opinions and anecdotes that he draws from his numerous interviews with diplomats, a former prime minister and the incumbent premier of Malaysia. The book is structured chronologically into six chapters beginning with the Merdeka years (1957-62), the formation of Malaysia and immediate aftermath (1963-71), foreign policy under Prime Ministers Abdul Razak and Hussein Onn (1971-81), two periods under Mahathir Mohamad (1981-89 and 1990-99) and a final section dealing with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (1999-2007).

Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations of Primary Sources
Glossary

1. The Merdeka Years, 1957-1962
2. The Formation of Malaysia and its Aftermath: 1963-1971
3. From Razak to Hussein Onn: The End of an Era, 1971-1981
4. The Early Mahathir Years: 1981-1989
5. The Post-Cold War Challenges, 1990-1999
6. The Leadership Transition, 1999-2007

Postscript
Select Bibliography
Index

Weight1.1 kg
Dimensions22.5 × 15.5 × 2.5 cm
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