From the category archives:


SMART Media Alliance: Good or Bad?

by lina on March 25, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Focus on Imaging
Photo by Barry Zee
Finally, the people are thinking. The idea of the alliance is a very good move considering the market size of ASEAN already presents more then half a billion viewers and their combined income that you cannot even imagine.

With the alliance, the region will have a better bargaining power, we can buy and execute programmes as a group, thus reducing in production, technology, equipments and other costs.

This committement is worth to track. This is still in their early stages, I would love to see how they can make this a success.

But is this all good. Thinking this aloud now, will such a move restrict information? Will the alliance then stop news, keeping the real story to viewers? Is this purely a marketing plot? Whats the hidden agenda?

Anyway, I hope the combined powers will bring more wealth from advertisers and knowledge to the region.


ASEAN Anthem- Is this necessary?

by lina on March 15, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Sometime back I read from the Jakarta Post about an ASEAN Anthem. The title of the anthem is “The ASEAN Way”. This is composed by a Thai group whose song won the most votes out of 99 finalists from ASEAN member states.

The question: Is this necessary.

Being a pro ASEAN citizen, I think this is a good move, at least I can relate to ASEAN better with this anthem. What do you think?

The lyrics are as follows:
Raise our flag high, sky high
Embrace the pride in our heart
ASEAN we are bonded as one
Look’in out to the world.
For peace, our goal from the very start
And prosperity to last.

We dare to dream we care to share.
Together for ASEAN
we dare to dream
we care to share for it’s the way of ASEAN.

You can get the score here.




What ‘ASEAN’ means to you and me?

by lina on March 14, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog


Before we talk about ASEAN’s polticial, social, economic, geographical issues… and will ASEAN work? Have you thought of the most basic question? What does ‘ASEAN’ means to you? Has anyone proudly say that they are from ASEAN? ASEAN citizen? Well the fact is many of us will identify ourselves as Asian. ASEAN-ians never thought of themselves as Asian. They thought of themselves as Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Singaporean and etc.

Has this became an identity crisis? If you cannot related to a certain term, for this instance ‘ASEAN’, it will never work. This is the most basic branding process.

ASEAN needs a new branding process. If ASEAN means nothing to you and me, then the whole concept will not work at all. We need to believe and be part of this.

Do you think I am right? Tell me about it.



I read this before and I find this extremely interesting and helpful for beginners to know what is ASEAN all about. The following are some of the frequently asked questions about the association. Going back to the basics is kind of fun. Hope I did not missed out anything. Do drop me a note or comment if I miss something. Cheers.

When Asean was found? Asean was founded on 8 August 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The document had five preambular and dive operative paragraphs. The five founding countries were represented by Adam Malik, Presidium Minister for Political affairs and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia; Tun Abdul Razak, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Defence and Minister for national Development of Malaysia, Narciso Ramos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, S. Rajaratnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and Thanat Kohman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

What is the gist of the Bangkok Declaration? The Bangkok Declaration laid down severn “aim and purposes” for the association: 1) Economic growth, social progress, and cultural development; 2) Regional peace an stability; 3) economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative collaboration; 4) mutual assistance in training and research; 5) Collaboration in agriculture and industry; trade, transportation and communications and the improvement of living standards; 6) Promotion of Southeast Asian Studies; 7) Cooperation with regional and international organizations..

What have been the most important accomplishments of Asean? By establishing and adhering to norms for inter-state relations, forming networks of cooperation among leading policy makers, and developing a regional consciousness among increasing members of Southeast Asians, Assean has contributed to the prevention of conflicts in the region. No two asean members have ever gone to war with each other. Indeed, war has become all but unthinkable among Asean countries. Asean has succeeded in keeping the major powers engaged in Southeast Asia large thorough the system of Dialogue Partnerships, the Asean Regional Forum, the Asean plus three process and the East Asia Summit.

Why are Asean countries committed not to interfere in one another’s internal affairs? The policy of non-interference in countries’ internal affairs is neither the invention nor the monopoly of Asean. This principle dates back to as early as the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which established the notion of the sovereignty of the nation-state. It is enshrined in resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and in the constituent acts of regional associations. It underpins the entire inter-state system. However, when Asean decline to do something about a problem internal to one of its members, it does so not because of a rigid adherence to some doctrine but out of self-interest—no member would like others to interfere in its own affairs—or out of the realistic recognition that many internal problems cannot be solved b measures imposed from outside.

What is the Asean stance on human rights? The Asean position on human rights can be found in the Joint Communique of the July 1993 Asean Ministerial Meeting: “The Foreign Ministers welcomed the international consensus achieved during the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, 14-25 June 1993, and reaffirmed Asean’s commitment to and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in the Vienna Declaration of 25 June 1993. They stressed that human rights are interrelated and indivisible comprising civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. These rights are of equal importance. They should be addressed in a balanced and integrated manner and protected and promoted with due regard for specific cultural, social, economic and political circumstances. They emphasized that the promotion and protection of human rights should not be politicised. The Foreign Ministers agreed that Asean should coordinate a common approach on human rights and actively participate and contribute to the application, promotion and protection of human rights. They noted that the UN Charter had place the question of universal observance and promotion of human rights within the context of international cooperation. They stressed that development in an inalienable right and that the use of human rights as a conditionality for economic cooperation and development assistance is detrimental to international cooperation and could undermine an international consensus on human rights. They emphasized that the protection and promotion of human rihts in the international community should take cognizance of the principles of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. They were convinced that freedom, progress and national stability are promoted by a balance between the rights of the individual and those of the community, through which many individual rights are realized, as provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

What is the Asean stance on Burma (Myanmar) issue? Asean has been urging Burma to step up the pace of the process of national reconciliation and dialogue among all concerned parties, and thus bring the country onto the path of democratic rule. Asena has called on Burma to release those in detention, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. However, Asean does not favour economic embargoes and boycotts to bring about change in the internal situation in that country, considering such measures to be ineffective, counter-productive and harmful to the people of Myanmar.

Is Asean a military alliance? Having no common enemies, actual or potential, Asean is not a military alliance or a defence pact, although individual members are free to enter into military arrangements with other countries provided that they do not threaten the security of neighbors. Nevertheless, for many years, defence ministers, armed forces chiefs, and the head of the military services and intelligence agencies have been in close contact with another. Security and defence officials take part in the Asean Region Forum. Regional armed forces units have been increasing their cooperation in such civil endeavors as disaster relief and search and rescue. Security authorities have been cooperating in anti-terrorism efforts. In May 2006, a new Asean defence ministers’ forum convened its inaugural meeting. This week, Thailand also hosts the Asean defence ministers’ forum in Pattaya. As an association, Asean does not conduct peacekeeping operations. However, several of its members take part in the UN peace keeping operations.

What is the value of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in southeast Asia? Signed by the heads of government of the Asean member-states on 24 February 1976, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia lays down the basic principles for inter-state relations in the region: 1) Respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identify of all nations; 2) Freedom from external interference, subversions or coercion; 3) Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another; 4) the peaceful settlement of dispute; 5) Renunciation of the threat or use of forces; 5) effective cooperation among themselves. As of today, there are 16 countries and one grouping have acceded to the treaty. The US has indicated that it will do so in the future.

What is Asean doing to increase jobs and poverty in Southeast Asia? Stimulating economic growth, increasing jobs and reduce poverty are primarily the responsibility of individual countries. However, Asean cooperates in this vital endeavor in several ways. One is by significantly contributing to peace and stability in the region, without which investments are discouraged, economic developement is retarded, and lives and livelihoods are disrupted. Asean has laid the foundations for regional economic integration, through which investors can be attracted by the prospect of a large regional market. Asean countries also learn form on another in matters like vocational training for young people in sill needed by a modern economy.

How are Asean decisions made? Normally, and like most other regional associations of sovereign states, Asean decides b consensus and not by taking a vote. This does not necessarily mean that every decision has to be categorically and explicitly supported by everyone of the member state. It means that no member opposes the decision strong enough to directly register its objection. In such a process, no member-state would feel “defeated” by a decision. In some cases, some Asean agreements go into effect without the ratification of all the signatories. The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone treaty required only seven ratifications to enter into force. The Asean agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution needed only six ratifications to become effective. Some Asean projects go forward on the basis of the Asean minus X or two plus X formula; that is, two or more members—not necessarily all—may go ahead and engage in a cooperative project, which is open to the participation of the others when they are ready.

(Adapted from Know Your Asean, published by ISEA, Singapore 2007)

ASEAN to become a EU like Union?

by lina on March 8, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

I have read that some leader made recommendations that ASEAN should work towards becoming a EU like union and if EU can succeed with 20 members, why not ASEAN? that has 10 members only.

Based on my own views, frankly I think having such vision is good and it is a good inspiration but we are not on the same model and not even close to attaining that. Among the 10 members in ASEAN, we share different beliefs; we do not share the same culture and religions. Some of the members are democratic and some are communist.

EU like union will not work for ASEAN, at least for now. But I do believe in ASEAN. If ASEAN can put their acts together and go through the difficult times and differences, ASEAN can sail through any obstacles.


Important dates in ASEAN History

by admin on November 1, 2007

in ASEAN, Blog

ASEAN is made up of ten member countries and this 40 year old nation is all set to sign a charter that will give the grouping a legal identity and an economic blueprint that aims to create an EU-style free-trade bloc. This could change history.

The following are some of the milestones in ASEAN history:

August 1967 – ASEAN was established in Bangkok by the five original member countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand

February 1976 – First ASEAN Summit convenes in Bali, Indonesia

September 1978 – First ASEAN-European Economic Community ministerial meeting held in Brussels

January 1984 – Brunei joins ASEAN

January 1994 – ASEAN establishes the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

July 1995 – Vietnam joins ASEAN

July 1997 – Laos and Myanmar join ASEAN

December 1997 – First meeting of ASEAN Plus Three

December 1997 – First ASEAN-China Summit convenes in Malaysia

April 1999 – Cambodia joins ASEAN

December 2005 – First meeting of the ASEAN Plus Six

November 20, 2007 – ASEAN signs charter giving its 10 member states a legal identity, a first step towards its aim of a free trade area by 2015 .