KUALA LUMPUR – Indonesia is committed in helping to ensure Malaysia’s success in leading the ASEAN regional group this year.
This commitment was expressed by Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, Herman Prayitno, who said it included efforts to bring ASEAN closer to the 625 million people from the 10-member countries.
Herman said for now, the connectivity aspect must be given more attention so that the desire to build an ASEAN Economic Community would materialise and benefit the people.
“We will help to ensure Malaysia’s success in leading ASEAN in 2015. We will participate actively and support the agenda drawn up by Malaysia.
“We are just waiting for Malaysia’s request and we will help as much as we can,” he said in a special interview with Bernama at the Indonesian Embassy here recently.
Malaysia took over from Myanmar as ASEAN Chairman at a crucial time when the establishment of the ASEAN Community is expected to become a reality by the end of 2015.
The setting up of the ASEAN Community involves three development blue-prints, namely the ASEAN Economic Community, Security-Political Community and Socio-Cultural Community.
One of the eight priorities proposed by Malaysia for ASEAN this year included steering the regional group to become closer to the people.
Other priorities include officially setting up the ASEAN Community; developing the vision for the Post-2015 ASEAN Community and its Attendant Documents; and, expanding intra-ASEAN trade and investment through cross-border trade and investment.
Herman said it would be easier to build the economy in the ASEAN region if relations between its member countries were good.
He added that he was confident that all the countries involved were currently preparing to abide by the new rules meant to develop the ASEAN community.
Asked how Indonesia and Malaysia could play a role in resolving the conflicts in the region, as well as at the international platform, he said both countries shared a common view for universal peace.
“It is hoped that Indonesia and Malaysia will play a major role. We also send our peace-keeping missions (in conflict zones). We, in Indonesia, want all the problems solved, the ASEAN way. Which is, through diplomacy and not force,” said Herman.
The stand, he said, was also applied in efforts to combat militant groups, including the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in the ASEAN region.
He said a police anti-terrorism body in Indonesia was constantly working with Malaysia to resolve conflicts in this area.
“We (Indonesia) do not agree (with the IS group). We prohibit. If caught, we will be clear to them that they cannot follow (the IS). – BERNAMA