India-Malaysia Relations, Economy, Defence, Tourism and Diaspora/Cultural Relations

Doorsteptutor material for IAS is prepared by world's top subject experts: Get detailed illustrated notes covering entire syllabus: point-by-point for high retention.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 110K)

India-Malaysia Relations

  • 1957: Established diplomatic relations with the Federation of Malaya

  • India PM visited Malaysia in October 2010.

  • The text of CECA has been agreed upon. Will be implemented for July 1, 2011.

  • Collaboration in defence sector and infrastructure development.

  • To step up cabinet level exchanges in numerous areas

  • India-Malaysia would liberalize their respective investment regimes to facilitate greater foreign direct investment into each other’s territory.

  • MoU on cooperation in the traditional systems of medicine makes India the second country with which Malaysia has inked such a pact.

  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism

  • MoU on cooperation in the field of IT & Services

  • Cultural Exchange Programme Agreement between CSIR and UNIK of Malaysia

  • To set up a joint working group on Counterterrorism


  • Economic and Commercial relations are emerging as the mainstay of the bilateral relationship

  • Malaysia is the second largest trading partner for India within ASEAN

  • India is the largest trading partner for Malaysia from among the countries of the South Asia, excluding China

  • CECA (likely to be asked)

  • Came into force on July 1, 2011

  • India Malaysia CEOs forum launched

  • Bilateral trade

    • 2010: USD 8.94 bn

    • India’s exports: USD 2.47 bn

    • India’s imports: USD 6.47 bn

  • Expected to cross USD 10 bn in 2011 due to the implementation of CECA

  • 21st largest investor in India

  • Maxis Comm in Aircel, Axiata in IDEA, Khazanah in IDFC

  • Malaysian construction companies’ largest presence outside Malaysia is in India

    • They have completed 52 construction projects worth USD 2.34 bn in India

    • Under partnership with Malaysian Airports, GMR completed airport in Hyderabad and Delhi

  • India is the 7th largest investor in Malaysia

  • Reliance, IRCON


  • 1993: MoU on defence cooperation

  • Malaysia-Indian Defence Cooperation meetings (MIDCOM) held regularly


India is the sixth largest source country for inbound tourism to Malaysia while Malaysia is the tenth largest for India

Diaspora/Cultural Relations

  • Malaysian students studying in India and vice versa

  • About 150,000 legally recruited Indian workers in Malaysia in both the skilled and semi-skilled category

  • Malaysia has one of the largest communities of PIOs in the world, numbering close to 2 million (7.1% of Malaysian population)

    • Overwhelmingly Tamil speaking

    • Malaysian Indian Congress is the dominant political organisation of the PIOs

    • PIOs from Malaysia have been sending the largest contingents to the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

  • Some important Malaysian Indians

    • Tony Fernandes: CEO of Air Asia

    • Ash Nair: Musician

    • Jaclyn Victor: Singer and actress


  • Unfair treatment of non-Muslims and non-Malays

    • Islam is the state religion. About 60% of the people are Muslims

    • Lately, Malaysian government’s stance with regard to constraining religious assertion has been against non-Muslims

  • Economic condition of many Indians is bad

    • They are not provided the support that is given to the Muslims and Malays by the government


See the MEA brief


  • Is the land bridge for India to connect with ASEAN countries

  • Discussed in detail in another note.

Developed by: