Malaysia aspire to Asean Community building for 2015, says Anifah

08 Feb 2015 / 18:41 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to aspire for regional growth and a more community oriented approach in the Asean region, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
    He said during Malaysia's chairmanship for Asean this year, the country will aim to create a truly "People-Centred Asean" that is consistent with the central and overarching theme of the organisation.
    Speaking at the Asean Supreme Audit Institution (Aseansai) assembly meeting here yesterday, Anifah said: "As chairman of Asean, Malaysia's main role is to ensure that the Roadmap for Asean Community (2009-2015) is fully implemented and to develop a Post-2015 Vision document to ensure Asean's sustainable growth covering all elements of people's well-being and livelihood."
    He also added that constructive views and inputs from stakeholders will be taken into account when building the Post-2015 Vision.
    He said a "people-centred Asean" would mean that Asean will be an even more powerful vehicle for the realisation of the people's aspiration.
    "That is good-governance, transparency, higher standard of living, sustainable development, further empowerment of women, and greater opportunity for all," he added.
    Anifah said the role played by the Aseansai has resulted in usage of government resources in a more prudent and accountable manner through fulfilment of public expectations and fostering governmental accountability.
    "The well-being and livelihood of Asean people have been enhanced through poverty alleviation, social safety net and protection, access to healthcare and building disaster-resilient nations and safer communities."
    Citing IMF's forecast for the year 2014 and 2015, Anifah said, world growth in 2014 and 2015 would be 3.4% and 4% respectively, and that the Asean region is expected to grow by 6.4% in both years.
    "Today we are in the one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing regions in the world with a sizeable population of 625 million, which includes a diverse range of economies in terms of size, stages of development and economic structure. Asean is home to many dynamic and emerging economies, thus economic expansion in the region are expected to be sustained and significantly outpace global growth as Asean continues to open up to global investors and accelerate foreign direct investment flows (FDI) for the next few years," he said.
    Despite global financial turmoil, Anifah said, Asean has remained resilience with a steady economic growth and has seen good progression in areas such as human development, social welfare and protection, social and justice, environment sustainability and the creation of Asean identity awareness.
    Praising the success of the organisation's contribution towards the region's peace, prosperity and progress, he stated that this has enhanced the region's capacity in confronting political and security challenges to attract foreign direct investment and substantial trade growth especially from dialogue partner countries such as China, the United States, Japan and Korea.
    He said Malaysia will continue to uphold the "Asean Centrality" role and by doing so will position Asean in the context of more competitive relations among major powers by maintaining unity, cohesiveness, upholding neutrality with a forward looking approach.
    "We believe that, the application of the Asean neutrality concept must be proactive, dynamic and based on Asean's collective interests as the overriding principle," he added.
    Anifah urged the delegates to continue upholding Asean tradition of enhancing good governance and accountability in the region, adding that the assembly should propose strategic objectives and action lines in regards to areas such as transparency and accountability.
    Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, who chaired a press conference said the objective of Aseansai was to promote collaboration between auditors of member nations in strengthening capacity building on a national level.
    "Standards have already been established on a global level, and by adopting these standards in the national level through knowledge sharing and training (between members), we believe that we can expedite and facilitate the process of capacity building as soon as possible," he added.

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