Time zone proposal revived

Time zone proposal revived
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretary General Le luong Minh (L) and Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman speak prior to a meeting at the foreign ministry in Putrajaya on January 7, 2015.

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysia is reviving a proposal for ASEAN to have a single time zone.

The proposal for a common time for the 10-member grouping is being brought up again for the consideration of ASEAN governments after it was first proposed in 1995 and discussed again in 2004.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said a single time zone would be in line with the formation of an integrated and cohesive ASEAN Community by the end of the year.

"We believe that a common time zone for ASEAN capitals is an idea worth considering," he said after chairing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat here yesterday.

During the discussion among the ministers, Anifah said there were many strong reasons for the setting up of a single time zone, among which were the strengthening of business links and inter-governmental cooperation between ASEAN and other Asian countries.

Besides the upgrading of business and banking links across Asia, Anifah said "it would allow more time for communication purposes".

"Airlines operational systems will also be enhanced and stock market activities coordinated within a single time zone," he said, adding that this would help bring the people of East Asia and ASEAN closer.

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