KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 – Fifty young ASEAN delegates from leading ASEAN universities are participating in the three-day CIMB ASEAN Young Leaders Programme 2015 to learn and play a role in protecting and preserving ASEAN’s rich heritage.
CIMB Foundation chief executive officer (CEO) Raja Noorma Othman said this would be the first time this year that the delegates would be participating in a seminar themed ‘Protecting ASEAN Heritage’ which is in line with the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) blueprint.
“This third series aims to expose the delegates to subject matter experts on heritage conservation and provide them with a chance to immerse in and to re- discover ASEAN’s history through site visits,” she said in her speech in welcoming the delegates. She said that the seminar was a platform which provided delegates with opportunities to learn through cross-cultural experiences and to network and cultivate friendship.
Raja Noorma said that in the last two programmes, CIMB Foundation sponsored a total of 100 talented undergraduates from across ASEAN to step into the shoes of ASEAN policy-makers and debate issues that were in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint.
The 2012 and 2014 Young ASEAN Leaders series were held in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur respectively, focusing on the the AEC blueprint. The CEO said that the delegates will also have the opportunity to visit the UNESCO Heritage site of Melaka and explore rich heritage sites such as the Dutch Square Malacca (Red Square) and the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum.
“The relevance of cultural heritage depends on the efforts of every generation to rediscover and reinterpret. Heritage will be a leading force, putting our past, and helping us to shape our future by enriching our sense of identity,” she remarked. She said that as a leading bank in ASEAN, CIMB believed in providing a platform for the delegates, many of whom will be ASEAN’s future leaders to appreciate the richness of ASEAN and the potential that it has to offer.
“ASEAN as we know is a melting pot of diverse culture and rich history, it is home to numerous sites of historical significance that needs to be better appreciated, conserved and enriched. This is our shared responsibility,” she added. The seminar is organised by the CIMB Foundation in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) and AirAsia Group,
Meanwhile, IDFR director-general Datuk Md Hussin Nayan said it was very important for IDFR to promote, a meaningful youth involvement in building the ASEAN Community (AC). He noted that the theme chosen for this programme: ‘Protecting ASEAN Heritage’ was in line with the strategic objective outlined in the ASCC blueprint for 2009-2015.
The primary goal of ASCC, one of the three pillars of the AC, to be established by year-end, is to contribute to realising a people-centred and socially responsible AC by forging a common identity and building a caring and sharing society. The other two pillars are the AEC and the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC).