KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has made good on its promise to steer ASEAN closer to the people during its 2015 chairmanship of the 10-member bloc, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Underpinned by the people-centred approach in line with the slogan ‘Our People, Our Community, Our Vision’, he said Kuala Lumpur had further endeavoured to involve various sectors of society in ASEAN activities and processes.
“Some of the initiatives undertaken by Malaysia during its chairmanship include boosting interface involving leaders with different sectors of society such as youth, civil society, business community and lawmakers,” he told Bernama ahead of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits this week.
Anifah further noted that Malaysia’s chairmanship had been marked by its emphasis on the concept of moderation.
This, he said, was evident in how Malaysia dealt with regional and international issues.
Steering ASEAN closer to the people was among the priorities outlined by Malaysia when it took over as ASEAN chair from Myanmar on Jan 1, 2015.
Another was the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community which entails closer integration through three pillars of political security, economy and socio-culture.
Under Malaysia’s watch, ASEAN is also laying out the framework for the post-2015 vision for the ASEAN Community.
The other priorities were enhancing ASEAN’s role as a global player, strengthening the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region, and expanding intra-ASEAN trade and investments.
Also listed as priorities were strengthening ASEAN’s institutions and promoting regional peace and security.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. – BERNAMA