NEW DELHI, June 17 — Hypernationalism and identity politics are harming peaceful coexistence among the people and nations, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah told a conference in New Delhi on Thursday evening.
Addressing the ministerial session of “Delhi Dialogue”, the minister said diplomacy and moderation were needed to prevent conflicts.
“The timing of this dialogue is very significant because we are discussing building bridges at a time when identity and nationalistic politics threaten to edge out values of moderation and tolerance,” Saifuddin said.
He expressed concern that while there is a rise in religious extremism and hypernationalism, democracy is backsliding and globalisation is taking the backseat.
This, Saifuddin said, increases both traditional and nontraditional security challenges such as terrorism, forced migration, and territorial disputes.
For the 10-member grouping of Southeast Asian nations, ASEAN, one of the challenges is the conflict in Myanmar, he said.
The Malaysian foreign minister on Thursday morning participated in the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (SAIFMM), which marks the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations between the two sides.
Saifuddin described the meeting as “very fruitful”, saying ASEAN and India have resolved to “strengthen and widen our strategic partnership”.
He said the two sides could leverage their two major strengths – population and technology – in expanding their relations.