Saturday April 18, 2009
Asean told to continue speaking in one voice with principles and conscience
By NELSON BENJAMIN
SINGAPORE: Asean should continue to speak in one voice not only on matters of national interest but on matters of principle and those touching on the conscience, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said Asean’s institutional architecture must be made relevant and strengthened to the changing times.
“With our newly-signed Charter in hand, we have to be less of a loose collection of nation states and start to work with the purpose and direction in a post-crisis era,” he said referring to the present world economic challenges.
He stressed the importance of proactive and decisive policies to restore confidence, financial stability and promote a sustainable economic growth in the region.
“The commitment by Asean members towards realising the Asean Economic Community by 2015 will enhance the competitiveness of the region that could lead to greater economic growth,” Muhyiddin said in his keynote address at the 2nd Asean and Asia Forum here which was attended by some 300 participants from the government, private sector and think-tank groups.
“It is my greatest hope that we will see a post-crisis where wealth is more equitably distributed,” he said.
Muhyiddin noted that national socio-political stability was also necessary for economic recovery to take place.
“Our legislature, judiciary and civil service must be capable and robust.” Muhyiddin also touched on the measures taken by Malaysia to mitigate the effects of the crisis, including on the stimulus packages.
Asked on his views that the crooked bridge project might be revived under the new administration, he said no decision had been made on the matter.