Asean dreaming

Josh Hong

Modified 5 Dec 2008, 3:53 am

At an academic conference some years ago in Seoul, South Korea, Chua Beng Huat, a sociology professor at the National University of Singapore, remarked that Asean as a regional grouping had achieved nothing over the last few decades.

Not true, I retorted. While a ‘Southeast Asian Community’ remains an illusive idea, the very existence of Asean has at least created a relatively stable regional environment that has given impetus to the rise of a prosperous island-state called Singapore, which has in turn benefitted many Malaysians who continue to cross the causeway to work or study there on a daily basis.

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