June 15, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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New international order of big powers, tech and pharma must be avoided – Saifuddin


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — A new post-pandemic international order that is going to be controlled by big powers, and big tech and pharma setups must be avoided, according to Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said while the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare some of the fundamental flaws and fractures in today’s globalized society, it has also resulted in new forms of inequalities.

“WHO (World Health Organisation) now become the new UN Security Council. Vaccine-producing countries become the new superpowers. Big pharma becomes the new Wall Street,” he said when delivering his speech “Addressing Inequality’ at the 14th Bali Democracy Forum.


A highly concentrated economy that enriches the few to the disadvantage of smaller businesses has emerged and in the meantime, some countries like Malaysia were still struggling to balance life and livelihood, in finding ways to economic recovery. 

“We also face a lot of problems when it comes to international financial, trade and economic architecture. We must avoid at all cost a democracy that is ‘off’ the people, ‘buy’ the people and ‘force’ the people.” 

Instead, he said countries need to take holistic and integrated multi-disciplinary approaches that focused on the people in the process of recovery and development of the nation.

He added that for a nation to prosper, all spectrums of the society, including the state, businesses, and civil society have to be included in the discussions and consultations as well as the decision-making of the developments in the country.

In a nutshell, he said: “What is needed is not another new way of inequalities. What is really required is a humane equilibrium and a responsible democracy.”

NMT as reported by Bernama