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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  9 April 2014  

Malaysia's chairmanship of Asean 2015 to be challenging and interesting

 KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's Chairmanship of Asean 2015 will be both challenging and interesting, says Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.
He said Malaysia has to lead in the process of getting Asean's act together in respect of the goal to become a modern regional block, akin to the the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"I am optimistic that Malaysia will sail through the challenging year and contribute significantly towards the future direction of Asean and its bid to become the next regional giant.
"Asean will also enter a very interesting phase in 2015 as the year marks the end of the period for implementation of the action plans contained in the three blueprints on political security, economy and socio-culture," he added.
He said this in his welcoming remarks at the National Colloquium on Malaysia's Chairmanship of Asean 2015 here Tuesday.
The three-day colloquium themed, "Malaysia's Chairmanship of Asean 2015: Towards a People-Centred Asean", began today and is attended by 200 invited participants.
It was officiated by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Among those present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Senate President, Senator Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.
Hamzah noted that 2015 will be a historic year for Malaysia and Asean on several grounds.
"As the Chair, Malaysia has to find ways to make the necessary assessment or stock taking, on what Asean has achieved under the blueprints," he added.
He said Malaysia has to also find creative and memorable ways to commemorate the establishment of the Asean community on Dec 31, 2015.
This is apart from shouldering the responsibility in charting the post-2015 vision for Asean, which Hamzah described as an immense task. (BERNAMA)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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