Malaysia formulates strategies to realise Asean's aspirations: Anifah

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has formulated strategies to realise the aspirations of Asean Community 2015 and beyond, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

He said that as Asean chair for this year, Malaysia would be in the driver's seat to steer the region towards greater achievements beyond 2015.

"The 26th Asean Summit would be the first event where the Asean leaders would gather officially to discuss Asean's priorities for this year," he said in an email interview with Bernama.

The issues discussed by the leaders would encompass the progress of efforts in the establishment of the Asean Community, Asean Community's Post-2015 Vision as well as Asean's external relations and its future direction, Anifah said.

He pointed out that Asean leaders would also have the opportunity to exchange views on current regional and international issues which included development occurring in other parts of the world.

Malaysia assumed the chairmanship of Asean beginning Jan 1 this year from Myanmar. The two-day summit will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Langkawi on April 26 and 27.

The summit is also being held outside Kuala Lumpur this time with the objective of bringing Asean closer to the people, which is in line with the theme chosen this year -'Our People, Our Community, Our Vision', to create a people-centred Asean involving all sectors of society in the grouping's activities.

Formed on Aug 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, Asean membership has expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. – Bernama