The year 2015 marks the fourth time Malaysia is Chair for ASEAN, having had previously held it in the years 1977, 1997 and 2005. It promises to direct the 47-year-old regional grouping towards a more integrated and people-oriented Asean Community.
This year, the theme of its ASEAN Chairmanship is “Our People, Our Community, Our Vision”. The appointment of Malaysia as Chair for ASEAN in 2015 is not without its fair amount of challenges. Malaysia now carries with it the heavy responsibility of realising the three blueprints on political security, economy and socio-culture by 31 Dec 2015 along with the hopes and aspirations of over 600 million people in the region.
As chair, Malaysia has to champion the lead in uniting ASEAN in becoming a modern united regional front, similar to the European Union and North American Free Trade Agreement. In addition, it also aims to develop the Asean Community’s Post-2015 Vision, a 10-year post-integration plan that will guide Asean’s continued growth from 2016-2025.