Asean Community Has No Place For Narrow Nationalistic Sentiments – Najib

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NAY PYI TAW, Nov 12 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said narrow nationalistic feelings must be avoided because it will contradict the spirit of Asean to become a community at the end of next year. He said extremist ideologies among Asean countries also should not arise in order to maintain peace and security in Asean region.

Najib told this to Malaysian journalists after attending the plenary session ahead of the 25th Asean Summit here Wednesday night . He said Asean countries including Malaysia had made a commitment to achieve their vision for the grouping to be an economic community by 2015. Najib said at the plenary session, the Asean countries also discussed the need for a post-2015 vision for Asean and that Malaysia suggested that Asean view 10 years ahead and hold a mid-term review as the world can change rapidly.

“So, any plans we make will have to be modified according to the prevailing situation,” he said. Najib said the theme ‘People-Centred Asean’ suggested by Malaysia when it chairs Asean next year was welcomed by the members. “Fundamental to this is acceptance by the people, so the people must understand what actually Asean is and what Asean is doing,” he said.

At the plenary session, Najib said he also raised the issue of non-tariff barriers among Asean countries which resulted in trade between member states to be restricted. “Especially in terms of delay in Customs processes, labelling and other conditions imposed,” he said. Other matters discussed, he said, were on free trade negotiations between Asean and six other countries, namely India, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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