Australia–Malaysia relations

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Australia–Malaysia relations
Map indicating locations of Australia and Malaysia


Monthly value of Australian merchandise exports to Malaysia (A$ millions) since 1988
Monthly value of Malaysian merchandise exports to Australia (A$ millions) since 1988

Australia–Malaysia relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between Australia and Malaysia. Australia has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur,[1] and Malaysia has an high commission in Canberra.[2] Both Australia and Malaysia are members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and often participate in military exercises together.[3]

On the whole, both countries enjoy close relations, although the situation was somewhat tense during the Mahathir years. Occasional issues such as perceived Australian influence in Southeast Asian affairs, as well as the detention (and execution) of Australian citizens in Malaysia, further complicate relations between the two nations. Malaysia has a large student population in Australia, and many Malaysians have become naturalised Australian citizens (see Malaysian Australian).

Economic relations[edit]

Malaysia is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth A$17.7 billion in 2012. The two countries commenced a free trade agreement in January 2013. [4]

High level visits[edit]

In July 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. [5]


Malaysia and Australia have had a well-established tradition of military cooperation. Australian air and ground forces formed part of the defence during the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Borneo. Australian troops also contributed significantly to Malaysia's defence during the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation.

The Royal Australian Air Force formerly operated the base RMAF Butterworth in Malaysia until transferring it to Malaysia in 1988. The RAAF still maintains a presence at this base. [6]

Lynas and Bersih 3.0 rally[edit]

Main article: Bersih 3.0 rally

Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly), a civil movement protesting the Lynas rare earth project in Malaysia. In addition to the main rally at Kuala Lumpur, smaller rallies were held in 10 other cities in Malaysia, as well as in 34 other countries.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diplomatic List and List of Representatives of International Organisations". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Welcome To The Official Website of high commission of Malaysia, Canberra". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia). Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Australian Department of Defence[dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]