Editor’s note

TO commemorate the 65th anniversary of Malaysia-India ties, ISIS Malaysia is honoured to partner with the High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur, to release this special ISIS Focus titled “Malaysia-India @ 65: Charting the way forward”.

For this commemorative edition, we have commissioned articles from diplomats, academics, policymakers and industry leaders who are experts in aspects that shape the Malaysia-India bilateral relationship. We are deeply grateful for their time, perspectives and ideas that make this edition a valuable tool for both Malaysian and Indian policymakers.

The “focus” of this edition is an assessment of the 65-year-old relationship with analyses on the various aspects, faces and phases of Putrajaya-New Delhi ties. The sub-themes are perhaps the most significant factors of the bilateral relationship. They highlight both opportunities and pressing challenges in cooperation mechanisms as well as ways to overcome such challenges.

In this edition, we look at the Indo-Pacific region and how Malaysia and India can find synergies for deeper cooperation. We have also gone a step further and curated a sub-theme assessing the 30 years of India-Asean dialogue partnership and how Malaysia can intensify Asean-India cooperation.

The authors have covered Malaysia-India defence and maritime cooperation; collaboration in fintech and frontier technologies; cooperation in manpower and skill development as well as in higher education, science and technology, and economic cooperation; and assessed ties on a deeper technical level while also providing substantive recommendations on how to enhance multi-level cooperation across the board.

With our bilateral ties deeply rooted in historical, cultural and civilisational linkages, this ISIS Focus would be incomplete without the sub-themes of shared culture and the role of the Indian diaspora in cementing bilateral ties. These articles will contextualise the relevance of culture, this diaspora and people-to-people connections in enhancing Putrajaya-New Delhi relations.

It is a privilege for ISIS Malaysia to work on this special project with the High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur, to mark the blue sapphire anniversary. We hope that this will be the first of many projects. The editors of ISIS Focus remain ever grateful to all contributors and readers for your support.

Embracing past to forge ahead
by Veena Sikri

Unlocking true potential of 65-year-old friendship
by Yanitha Meena Louis

Re-imagining Indo-Pacific construct
by Rahul Mishra

Resetting trade ties to spread prosperity
by Prabir De & Durairaj Kumarasamy

Time to unleash SAGAR’s potential
by Nur Shahadah Jamil

Unleashing power of deeper economic ties
by Tan Sri Kuna Sittampalam

Opportunities galore with shift in focus to SMEs
by Datuk Umang Sharma

Diaspora ‘secret sauce’ to closer ties
by Suseela Devi Chandran & Yanitha Meena Louis

Culture as catalyst to closer ties
by Padma Shri Datuk Ramli Ibrahim

How to leapfrog a digital economy
by Shravishtha Ajaykumar & Mihir Sharma

Labour relations ripe for reforms
by Muhammad Faliq Abd Razak & Andika Ab Wahab

The higher education elephant in the room
by Nomesh Bolia

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