Malaysia wants inclusive ASEAN that welcomes diversity

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar - Malaysia wants to create an ASEAN that is inclusive and welcoming towards diversity as the region ushers in the ASEAN Com­munity next year.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that Malaysia's view is that post-2015 ASEAN should be people-centred to reflect the common aspirations of the people.

"Malaysia is determined to push forward this effort even though we are aware there is still much to be done to take integration within ASEAN to the next level," he said at the 11th ASEAN Leadership Forum held on the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Summit here yesterday.

He said ASEAN also needs to create a greater "we feeling" among its peoples and work towards a peaceful and prosperous region.

Anifah added that the post-2015 years should reflect an even higher level of determination among the 10-nation bloc to strengthen the ASEAN Community based on the rule of law, and for it to take on a greater level of leadership in the midst of the evolving regional power structure and balance.

He also pointed out the importance of regional cooperation, which was put to test recently when Malaysia requested assistance in locating MH370 that went missing on March 8.

"ASEAN nations acted promptly to assist in every way without hesitation. This commitment to greater regional co-operation can only mean higher efficiency and a state of readiness in mitigating risks and resolving issues in unity," said Anifah.