© unknownPetronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malasia
Malaysia has decided to apply for BRICS membership and will start filing the official paperwork soon, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said.

The 77-year-old leader of the Southeast Asian nation mentioned the decision in an interview with the Chinese outlet Guancha published on Sunday.
"We have made our policy clear and we have made our decision. We will start the formal process soon. We are waiting for the final result and the feedback from the South African government."
Anwar also mentioned bringing up the subject in a recent meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The organization was founded in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, with South Africa joining in 2011. In January, BRICS officially admitted Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but decided to keep the current name.

Kuala Lumpur's potential membership in the organization would be of strategic significance, as one of the world's most important shipping lanes - the Malacca Strait, connecting the Pacific and the Indian Ocean - is located between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

According to Anwar, Malaysia is "relieved" that the world is no longer unipolar, and that the rise of BRICS and China in particular has offered "a glimmer of hope that there are checks and balances in the world."

The Malaysian prime minister told Guancha:
"The West wants to 'control the discourse' in the world, but we can no longer accept it because they are no longer a colonial power and independent countries should be free to express themselves."
Earlier this month, Russian Ambassador to China Igor Morgulov said that about 30 countries have voiced a desire to join BRICS. In Malaysia's neighborhood, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have already made overtures to the group.

The 2024 BRICS summit is scheduled for October in Kazan, Russia. Moscow has presided over the organization since January.