Dato’ Ramlan Ibrahim received his letter of appointment as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, today, 4 January 2017, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

Dato’ Ramlan began his career as a Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Officer in 1983. He obtained a degree from the National University of Malaysia and a Master’s degree from Webster University, USA. Among the countries that he served in during the early part of his diplomatic career include Indonesia, the Netherlands, Croatia and Singapore.

Dato’ Ramlan’s first ambassadorial post was as the Ambassador of Malaysia to Bosnia Herzegovina from 2004 to 2006. He then returned to Headquarters to serve as Undersecretary of Americas Division and subsequently as Undersecretary of Southeast Asia Division. Dato’ Ramlan then served as the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Republic of Korea from 2009 to 2013. He then once again returned to  Headquarters to serve as the Deputy Secretary General for Bilateral Affairs from 2013 to 2015.

In April 2015, Dato’ Ramlan was appointed as the Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations in New York. He successfully led the representation of Malaysia during its period of non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council until the end of its term in 2016. His tenure as Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York culminated with the successful adoption of Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) on 23 December 2016 on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question which was a significant step towards progress in the Middle East. The resolution was put forward by Malaysia and three (3) other non-permanent member countries.

Dato’ Ramlan Ibrahim assumed the role of Secretary General, the highest executive post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, effective 1 January 2017.

4 JANUARY 2017


I am pleased to officially inform the general public that the Government of Myanmar, at the behest of its State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has agreed to convene an ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Yangon, Myanmar.


The Retreat session, to be held on 19 December 2016, will provide the ASEAN Foreign Ministers the opportunity to exchange views and deliberate on finding a just, expeditious and durable solution to the problem affecting the areas in the Northern Rakhine State. During the Retreat, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to brief the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the recent developments of the situation there.


This is what the Government of Malaysia has pushed for in recent weeks – an acknowledgement of the problem and the meeting of minds for its resolution. Even though this is only the first step in resolving the problem, it is nevertheless a positive step in the right direction.


On 27 November 2016, I had proposed for an ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting be convened urgently to discuss the situation in the Northern Rakhine State. The worrying condition and the dire humanitarian situation on the ground, coupled with the wider implication of this crisis to neighbouring ASEAN countries, made it imperative for the matter to be discussed within ASEAN. Myanmar initially rejected Malaysia’s appeal, but constant pressure from both the international community as well as Malaysia has led us to this point and to the Retreat to be held.


This 19 December meeting will give me the opportunity to unequivocally state Malaysia’s strong position on this issue. I fully expect to be able to seize this opening to highlight the fact that Malaysia has consistently condemned the escalation of violence in the Northern Rakhine State since the outbreak on 9 October 2016. The loss of innocent lives and the displacement of people is unacceptable, and Malaysia will further call on all parties involved to refrain from taking any actions that would aggravate the situation further.


As a founding member of ASEAN, Malaysia is fully cognisant of the principles upon which ASEAN was built, in particular, the non-interference principle that binds us in ASEAN. However, we also believe that the ASEAN Member States are bound by international principles on the promotion and protection of human rights, which are also enshrined in the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.


The spirit of ASEAN Community, set to advance ASEAN’s goal of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth and shared prosperity and social progress, should guide us in this instance. Malaysia stands ready to assist Myanmar in finding a just, expeditious and durable solution to the protracted issue in the Rakhine State.



17 DECEMBER 2016



The article “Myanmar’s Snub to Malaysia’s Megaphone Diplomacy” (Free Malaysia Today, 12 Dec 2016) refers.

As a member of ASEAN, Malaysia has always followed developments in the region including Myanmar. In this regard, Malaysia is gravely concerned with the recent developments in the northern Rakhine State, which has resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the displacement of people.


Malaysia is concerned that if the crisis in northern Rakhine State is not addressed urgently by the Myanmar Government, it will impact the security and stability of region, including Malaysia. The exodus of more refugees to neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, would witness a repeat of the 2015 boat people crisis.


In fact, during the 2015 boat people crisis, Malaysia played an instrumental role by swiftly convening a tripartite meeting with Indonesia and Thailand which was held at Wisma Putra and led by Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, YB Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman in May 2015 to discuss and resolve the issue. The outcome of the meeting saw Malaysia and Indonesia agree to provide humanitarian assistance and temporary shelter to the 7000 boat people stranded along the three countries' maritime borders while awaiting resettlement or repatriation. Malaysia’s leading role in this instance led to a resolution of the crisis and saved innocent lives.


That is why Malaysia views the current situation in the northern Rakhine State as no longer an ‘internal affair’ but one of regional consequence. ASEAN Member States as a community of nations has a responsibility to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. It is in this context that Malaysia, as an ASEAN Member State, is taking a strong position on the issue. Malaysia needs to speak out on issues regarding gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms as it is the right thing to do.


On the claim that Malaysia’s recent actions are “un-ASEAN-like” and may jeopardise any further possibility of Malaysia playing a credible role towards a long term solution in Rakhine State, the Ministry believes that it is due to Malaysia’s vocal position on the issue that Myanmar will host an ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat on 19 December 2016 to discuss the situation in the northern Rakhine State.


Myanmar’s willingness to address the criticism head-on is a change of tact for the country, as was the change in Malaysia's tone in dealing with Myanmar. We welcome this positive development and YB Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman is prepared to discuss with his Myanmar counterpart, Aung San Suu Kyi on how Malaysia can assist Myanmar in finding a just, expeditious and durable solution to the protracted issue in the northern Rakhine State.



15 DECEMBER 2016

ASEAN to raise awareness on youth volunteerism through video competition

JAKARTA, 15 December 2016 – Over 100 contestants participated in the second ASEAN Youth Video Contest which aimed to engage talented youth across the region in promoting ASEAN Community through social videos. Supported by the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS, the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Foundation, the competition also enhances youth leadership and civic engagement through the production of short documentaries.

For the full article, please see

ASEAN to enhance biodiversity conservation and livelihoods of people in its Heritage Parks

CANCUN, 13 December 2016 - The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) launched a documentary video on the Small Grants Programme (SGP) that aims to improve biodiversity conservation and the livelihoods of people in the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs). The video was launched on the sidelines of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Cancun, Mexico on 2-17 December 2016.

For the full article, please see

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