11 February 2015
The ASEAN Community is to be established this year. ASEAN should convey, very early in the new year, a coordinated message on what exactly the ASEAN Community 2015 is and what the people can expect come 31 December 2015.
Many people have a vague idea of what the ASEAN Community 2015 (AC15) is all about and how it benefits or impacts them. The lack of clear coherent messaging by the authorities leads some to benchmark the AC15 with the European Union (EU), while others have the impression the AC15 is all about the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which invariably gets the most attention in public discourses.
ASEAN must make a concerted effort to convey in specific quantitative, if not qualitative, terms what it had planned to achieve and how well it is doing, regularly throughout the year. Otherwise the public who are being primed to expect “delivery” of the AC15 on 31 December 2015 will be greatly disappointed if they are anticipating a Cinderella-like transformation on that day. ASEAN, under Malaysia’s Chairmanship, has a heavy transformative agenda this year, namely (i) delivering on the AC15 (ii) designing the post-2015 agenda which spans a decade to 2025 and (iii) hopefully reviewing the ASEAN Charter which was due in 2014. This commentary deals with the first task.
…Raman Letchumanan is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. The views expressed here are strictly his own. Dr. Raman served as a senior official at the ASEAN Secretariat for 14 years.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015