Shaping a New Generation of Diplomats in Malaysia

Shaping a New Generation of Diplomats in Malaysia

In the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Ministery of Foreign Affairs Malaysia (IDFR) Royal address, HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah, the Sultan of Perak said in shaping the next generation of diplomats, the diplomat of tomorrow should be a historian, a scientist, a communicator, and a bureaucrat.

“This will enable the Ministry to be better prepared to face tomorrow’s challenges,” he says.

The Sultan of Perak, graced the IDFR on Thursday, 18 November 2021 and delivered a Royal Address to approximately 100 guests, with another 210 viewings the event online.

The theme of His Royal Highness’ address was Shaping a New Generation of Malaysian Diplomats. HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin is the Royal Patron of IDFR.

This is HRH’s third Royal Address at IDFR since becoming its Royal Patron in July 2011. This year’s Royal Address coincides with the institute’s celebration of 30 years of its establishment and rounds off a year-long observance of its third decade.

Among the points touched upon by His Royal Highness during the Address were:

  1. Inshapingthenewgenerationofdiplomats,thediplomatsoftomorrowshould possess traits of a historian, a scientists, a communicator and a bureaucrat. This will allow the Ministry to be better equipped to deal with the challenges of tomorrow;
  2. The historian in the diplomat will allow the diplomat to understand, analyse and then produce insights into world politics. Given the nuance that is afforded only by understanding history, the diplomat can only give a precise and valuable insight when they understand the historical powerplay at work;
  1. The scientist in the diplomat will allow the diplomat to ground themselves in science. With so many of the world’s challenges, including this pandemic, related to an understand of science, diplomats must possess a reasonable grasp of science;
  2. The skillful communicator in the diplomat is needed because of the exponential power of the social media and other platforms. Diplomats should therefore embrace digital diplomacy and use it to work for them;
  3. The bureaucrat in the diplomat will allow the diplomat to consult with all stakeholders, soliciting expert opinion and analyses in order to arrive at a policy that would be in the best interests of the nation; and
  4. Thereisaneedtore-imaginethediplomatofthefuture.IDFRthereforeneeds to continually adapt, so partnership with others is imperative.

His Royal Highness acknowledged that Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs face particular resource limitations and urged for these constraints to be addressed urgently before it significantly affects Malaysia’s international standing.

His Royal Highness ended by expressing the hope that the new generation of diplomats will keep the Jalur Gemilang flying high in the international arena, and ever ready to capitalize on new opportunities in a highly competitive environment.

The event also saw the participation of IDFR’s Diplomacy in Diplomacy scholars – junior diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia who undergo a diplomatic training programme before embarking upon their diplomatic careers.

Approximately 300 guests including senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies, academics, representatives of think tanks, former Malaysian Ambassadors, Distinguished Fellows of IDFR, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), attended the Royal Address either in person or online.

The event was held in a hybrid format with strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set forth by the Ministry of Health.