Asean Can Shape Global Developments, Says Najib

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JAKARTA, May 7 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak said Asean should be able to shape global developments if the organisation can live up to the theme “Asean will show the way”.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia believed that the slogan clearly must be translated into all of Asean’s endeavours so that it would be truly an exemplary organisation.

“By showing the way and leveraging on its strengths as a coherent community, Asean should be able to shape global developments,” he said at the plenary session of the 18th Asean Summit, here Saturday.

The plenary session, chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was attended by all Asean leaders except for Singaporean Prime Minister who was represented by Senior Minister Prof S. Jayakumar.

Najib said Malaysia also felt that the approaches and measures taken in advancing the integration agenda should be people-oriented in various fields.

Stressing the point that education was a critical element in a more people-centred Asean, he said youths should be encouraged to pursue their studies in higher learning institutions located in Asean Member States as it would help to develop a sense of kinship and long-lasting friendship amongst them.

“Malaysia proposed that the Asean Education Ministers be tasked to look into the idea of transferring credits between higher institutions in the region so that Asean students will be able to spend at least one year in another Asean country,” he said.

Najib also urged Asean to give a big push to encourage low-cost carriers and national airlines to operate more flights between the its member states because low-cost carriers had an enormous potential in connecting a large segment of the Asean peoples who previously could not afford to do so.

On Asean’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030, Malaysia, said the Prime Minister believed that sports could play a uniting role among the peoples of Asean and it would go a long way in fostering a spirit of Asean Community, despite the challenges faced in realising the goal.

Najib also stressed the need for Asean member states to look at how they could support each other in energy security, especially through joint bilateral and multilateral projects to generate electricity and power by leveraging on their advantages in which some member states were rich in resources and some in capital.

“This would enable the people to have stable source of electricity which would help to propel economic development,” he said.

On the Thai-Cambodia border dispute, the Prime Minister said Malaysia was of the view that it should be kept within the Asean family and the country would continue to support the role of the Asean Chair to facilitate both countries in finding an amicable solution to the dispute.

Existing Asean conflict prevention and dispute settlement instruments should also be fully utilized, he added.

Discussions at the plenary session centred on two agenda items namely “Implementation of the Asean Charter and Roadmap for an ASEAN Community” and “Implementation of Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity”.

Source : Bernama

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