16th July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: Leaders of the Asean countries have decided to expedite the creation of a single Asean Community by the year 2015, five years earlier from its initial target.
Assistant Minister of Finance, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan stated this at the closing of the Know Asean 2012 programme organised by the Information Department Malaysia, here yesterday.
The two-day programme was held at Palm Square, Centre Point and its purpose is to promote as well as to raise the awareness of the people in their respective country about Asean.
“The desire for a peaceful, harmonious and safe region has spurred Asean leaders to agree on the creation of a single Asean community, he said.
“For this purpose, each member countries were given the responsibility to prepare its own framework to promote Asean among their people,” he added.
Hence, to achieve this objective, Malaysia as one of the founding members will implement programmes related to the affairs of Asean member countries in all the states in Malaysia, said Tawfiq.
Therefore, we are here to implement the Knowing Asean programme with the intention to introduce the culture and ways of life of our neighbours to our people, he said further.
“In other words, the programme that we implemented will create a community that can cooperate and help with each other in peaceful and stable region,” he remarked.
It is hoped that a peaceful and stable region will draw foreign investments to Asean countries while turning the Southeast Asia region into a centre of rapid economic growth, strong and with great potential, he said.
With political stability and strong economy, said Tawfiq, Asean will be able to play a central and pivotal role in regional matters.
Present at the event were Information Department Sabah Director, Haji Almain Aljuril and International Relations Branch Director, Lim Ann Teck.