KUALA LUMPUR, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia's intention to join the intergovernmental organisation, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is not to interfere in the domestic and political affairs of the countries involved. On the other hand, he said that Malaysia emphasises the importance of trade, economy and the expansion of networks that can provide benefits to the country and the people, especially traders and investors. Anwar said that despite Malaysia's relationship with foreign countries including western countries and those involved in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Malaysia does not fully agree on all matters. "In fact, we have major disagreements and differences on the Gaza issue, for example, the issues of developing countries, the issues of trade competition in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but that does not cause us to cut ties, especially when the priority is trade," he said during Minister's Question Time in Dewan Rakyat, today. Anwar was replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodi (GPS-Sri Aman) who wanted to know if the government had examined the implications of Malaysia joining BRICS considering that its member countries have economic, political and social backgrounds that are quite different from Malaysia. The Prime Minister said this is over some BRICS countries such as China and Russia establishing close relations and cooperation with Malaysia even though both have different systems. "...but there are also countries in BRICS including South Africa or India that practise democratic systems which are closer to us and this also does not hinder their relations in BRICS with us. "Besides that, countries like the UAE, India and South Africa also have good trade relations, economic cooperation for example with Europe, the United States and countries that are not in the BRICS," said Anwar. Therefore, he said there is no reason why Malaysia and several ASEAN countries that have applied to join BRICS are wo rried because the main provisions are for trade purposes. Apart from that, Anwar said the government had also studied and examined the possible implications of Malaysia joining BRICS. BRICS was established in 2009 as a cooperation platform for emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China with South Africa joining the group in 2010. In January 2024, the countries such as Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the organisation as new members. Source: BERNAMA News Agency