Malaysia declares intention to join BRICS
06/19/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has announced that his country will apply for membership in BRICS. The 77-year-old leader disclosed the decision in an interview with the Chinese outlet Guancha.

"We have made our policy clear and decided to proceed. We will start the formal process soon," Anwar stated. "We are waiting for the final result and feedback from the South African government." (Related: More than 40 additional countries want to join BRICS in 2024; 97 countries to participate in BRICS 2024 Games hosted by Putin.)

Anwar mentioned that he also discussed the matter in a recent meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. BRICS was established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, with South Africa joining in 2011. In January, BRICS admitted Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but retained its original name.

Malaysia's potential membership holds strategic importance due to the Malacca Strait, one of the world’s key shipping lanes, situated between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Anwar emphasized Malaysia's relief at the rise of BRICS and China, providing "a glimmer of hope" for global checks and balances in a non-unipolar world. He criticized the West for attempting to "control the discourse" globally, asserting that independent countries should be free to express themselves without colonial-era constraints.

Other countries also interested to join BRICS

Russian Ambassador to China Igor Morgulov earlier noted that about 30 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS. Three other nations in the Asian region – Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam – have already shown interest in the group.

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The 2024 BRICS Summit is scheduled for October in Kazan, Russia, with Moscow presiding over the organization since January.

BRICS holds an annual summit to set priorities and make decisions, with the presidency rotating among member countries each year. The expanded group's name has yet to be officially announced, but it may be referred to as BRICS+.

The expanded BRICS now includes major global powers such as China and Russia, alongside influential countries like South Africa and Brazil. With a combined population of approximately 3.5 billion people—45 percent of the world's total—and an economic output exceeding $28.5 trillion (about 28 percent of the global economy), BRICS wields substantial influence. The inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE means BRICS countries now produce about 44 percent of the world's crude oil.

Despite their significant economic presence, BRICS countries argue that Western nations dominate key global institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which provide loans to governments. The group advocates for "greater voice and representation" for emerging economies.

In 2014, BRICS established the New Development Bank to finance infrastructure projects. By the end of 2022, the bank had funded nearly $32 billion in projects, including roads, bridges, railways, and water supply systems.

According to professor Padraig Carmody from Trinity College Dublin, China views BRICS as a platform to expand its influence, particularly in Africa, aiming to be the leading voice for the global south. Conversely, Russia sees BRICS as part of its strategy to counter the West and mitigate the impact of sanctions imposed after it invaded Ukraine. Creon Butler of Chatham House suggests that Iran's inclusion might intensify the group's anti-Western stance.

There have been discussions about creating a BRICS currency to reduce reliance on the US dollar for international trade. However, this idea was not addressed at the 2023 summit due to the impracticality of a common currency among BRICS nations with diverse economies. Carmody speculates that in the future, BRICS might consider developing a new currency for international trade payments or a cryptocurrency for the same purpose.

Watch this video discussing why BRICS is one step closer to wiping out the U.S. dollar.

This video is from the What is happening channel on

More related stories:

Thailand announces intention to join BRICS, accelerating dollar’s demise.

Russia and China now conducting 90% of financial settlement transactions in national currencies – once the new BRICS currency arrives, it’s GAME OVER for the U.S. dollar.

Turkey signals desire to join BRICS and abandon EU membership dreams.

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