22nd July 2019, Putrajaya – With a view to enhancing collaboration and cooperation among the key ministries related to ASEAN, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Malaysia chaired a meeting participated by Datuk Darell Leiking, Minister of International Trade and Industry, and Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on 22 July 2019 at Wisma Putra. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture represent Malaysia in three pillars of ASEAN, namely the Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community respectively. In addition, the meeting was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry. Representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSO) were also invited to the Meeting.
The objective of this meeting was to enhance understanding and cooperation between Government ministries, agencies and CSOs in achieving the objectives outlined in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. Under the ASEAN political-security (APSC) pillar, the Meeting emphasised on ASEAN Centrality, and highlighted the role of the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) in combatting terrorism, radicalism and extremism. Under the ASEAN economic (AEC) pillar, the Meeting discussed ways to optimise and expand regional integration, enhance intra-trade between ASEAN Member States, and position ASEAN as the global production hub. Under the ASEAN socio-cultural (ASCC) pillar, the Meeting deliberated on the importance to strengthen ASEAN identity in line with shared cultural and civilisational links, and further encourage tourism among ASEAN countries via the promotion of ASEAN Cultural year 2019.
The meeting was also attended by CSOs who represent the interests of the respective pillars. The meeting agreed to enhance engagement and cooperation between Government agencies and CSOs in realising the ASEAN community.
Following the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in June 2019, ASEAN Leaders had agreed to establish the ASEAN Network of Associations in ASEAN Member States. The Meeting identified Malaysia’s National Organizing Committee (NOC) of the ASEAN People Forum as the interim committee to coordinate efforts for Malaysia.