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Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP): Cultural Diplomacy 2023

mtcp cd2023 3

The Centre for Languages and Cultural Diplomacy (CLCD), Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) organised a Cultural Diplomacy course 2023 under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) on 5-14 September 2023. The course was attended by 16 participants from 15 countries, namely Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Indonesia, Kyrgyz, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam.

The course is designed to provide mid-career diplomats under the South-South Cooperation initiative substantive input on aspects of cultural values, beliefs and perceptions between diverse cultural groups. The aspects of intercultural communications were emphasised to raise the participants’ awareness on how the psyche of a society could determine the way people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds interact with each other.

Among the special focus areas given were Cultural Diplomacy in the ASEAN Arena, Conceptual Framework of Culture and Diversity, Humanising Diplomacy thru Culture, Language and Diplomacy and Cultural Dimensions in Negotiations. In addition, there were also lectures on Cross-Cultural Communication and Interactive Malay for Daily Conversation. These modules enlightened the participants on the role of culture in international relations and the way cooperation between Governments could be achieved through cultural diplomacy.

Throughout the course, participants engaged in a wide range of enriching learning experiences. These experiences included interactive lectures, inspiring group discussions, immersive simulation exercises, and insightful case studies.

Furthermore, participants had the privilege of visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where they actively participated in engaging sessions with Desk Officers representing various countries. Additionally, they had the opportunity to visit Petronas Twin Towers, where they received a comprehensive briefing on Petronas's unwavering commitment to progress. This visit was further enhanced by an excursion to the observation deck at level 86, which provided them with breathtaking views. Participants also had the chance to immerse themselves in the world of international trade at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS). Here, they received valuable insights on Export Acceleration from the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and were given a guided tour of MIHAS' business platform, shedding light on the thriving Halal industry in Malaysia.

In addition, participants embarked on a cultural awareness visit to Negeri Sembilan, where they received informative briefings from the Kuala Pilah District Office. These briefings not only covered the development of the royal town but also delved into its rich historical background that contributed to its formation. At the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex, participants had the opportunity to try their hand at Batik drawing and painting. Their visit to the Malaysian Tourism Centre (MaTiC) amplified their valuable insights into the diverse ethnic cultures that make up the tapestry of Malaysia.

The Closing and Certificate Presentation Ceremony was held on 14 September 2023. Mr Devrin Jeck, Undersecretary of International Cooperation and Development Division (ICADD) delivered the Closing Remarks and presented the certificate of attendance to 16 participants. Ms Maria Rowena Corpuz of the Philippines delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the class. Also in attendance were Mr R. Suresh Kumar, Director of CLCD, Chargé d’Affaires and Embassy Representatives of the participating countries. The ceremony ended with a cascade of joy and colour where guests were treated to the enchanting ‘Rasa Sayang’ song and the lively ‘Joget Penghibur’ dance. The participants, adorned in their national attire, stole the show with their mesmerising performances.

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Prepared by:
Centre for Languages and Cultural Diplomacy (CLCD)

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